Plea in SC seeks establishment of medical oxygen plants in all 738 districts using PM-CARES Fund

·2-min read

New Delhi, May 15 (PTI) A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking various relief measures for the pandemic-ravaged country, including immediate procurement of COVID-19 vaccines and installation of a liquid medical oxygen (LMO) plant in each of the 738 districts using donations received under the PM-CARES Fund.

The petitioner has made the Centre, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situation (PM-CARES) Fund and all states as parties in the plea.

'Direct (PM-CARES FUND) to first fund...for immediate procurement (by importing and/or otherwise) of (a) COVID-19 Vaccine; (b) oxygen plants/generators...and forthwith installation thereof in 738 district government hospitals throughout the country,' the plea filed by lawyer Viplava Sharma said, adding that poor citizens should get oxygen free of cost.

The plea, which may come up for hearing next week, has also sought a direction to the Centre and states to ensure that all private and charitable hospitals also install plants for producing medical oxygen.

It has sought direction to states and union territories to set up electric and other crematoriums in all cities and also maintain and improve the condition of existing electric crematoriums.

The plea said that members of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies be directed to spend their fund in a disciplined manner with full transparency to serve their constituencies.

The petition challenged the April 24 notification issued by the central government to the extent it capped the exemption from import duty granted to medical equipment for a period of three months only.

'Three month time period is too short a period from the standpoint of logistics involved in importing these highly sophisticated medical equipment in India by over 300 concerned notable hospitals throughout the country,' it added.

The petition stated, 'The Central, all the State and the UT governments as named and other concerned agencies, to ensure all hospitals within their respective administration to be equipped with sufficient/adequate means and logistics providing medical oxygen, vaccine and medical treatment to COVID patients with judicial accountability of all concerns which is possible only by way of appropriate orders/directions by this Court.' PTI SJK SMN SMN