"If even after seven decades of our attaining freedom with so many heavy industries set up, we are not able to provide oxygen to our citizens, it's a matter of shame," observed the Allahabad High Court today.
The remarks were made by a Division Bench comprising of Justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar on being informed that hospitals in the State are running out of Oxygen supplies.
During the hearing, an Advocate informed the Bench that because of scarcity of Oxygen suplly, may private hospitals are insisting patients to bring their own oxygen cylinder, if they wanted admission.
It was further informed that refilling of oxygen cylinders is also not given priority by the administration and people have to remain in queue for nearly 12 hours and more to get their cylinders filled with liquid medical oxygen.
Taking serious note of the situation, the Division Bench directed that oxygen supply to hospitals should remain uninterrupted. "This should be ensured at all cost so that no one should die for want of oxygen," the Bench ordered.
Significantly, the UP Government claimed that it has got allotted about 857 metric tone of the liquid medical oxygen to address the alleged shortage. It further stated that the amount of oxygen that is being received through the logistics provided by State itself, the State will be able to tackle the situation.
The Government further submitted that a control room has been set up in this regard under the leadership of Director (Medical Education), Jawahar Bhawan, Lucknow so that the gap between demand and supply of the oxygen is removed.
Unconvinced, the Bench directed that all industrial oxygen should immediately be diverted to the use of people, making it Medical Oxygen and its immediate uninterrupted supply for the said purpose be ensured by the Government.
It has sought statistical details of the oxygen supply to the government hospitals where there are no oxygen producing plants.
"Exact need of the hospitals and the working of the oxygen plants wherever they are there in the hospitals shall be provided along with their capacity," the Court has ordered.
Further, a report is sought on status of oxygen supply to private hospitals and their need.
The Court has also sought a report on viability to use LPG Cylinders for filling Liquid Medical Oxygen to meet the demand of cylinders.
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