28 April 2021 4:30 PM GMT
Delhi High Court on Wednesday told the Centre that Delhi has not been getting the amount of oxygen allocated to it by the Centre, and lives are being lost in the capital. The Bench also observed that Delhi did not the allocated quantity of oxygen even for a single day. The Court also said that it hopes that the Central Government would look into the logistics problem being faced...
Delhi High Court on Wednesday told the Centre that Delhi has not been getting the amount of oxygen allocated to it by the Centre, and lives are being lost in the capital.
The Bench also observed that Delhi did not the allocated quantity of oxygen even for a single day.
The Court also said that it hopes that the Central Government would look into the logistics problem being faced in transportation of oxygen from different plants to Delhi.
A division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rekha Palli made the observation while addressing SG Tushar Mehta, while hearing the matter concerning Covid 19 situation and supply of medical oxygen in the national capital.
"My Lords, this is purely an ever changing administrative exercise. The ground level officers cannot be engaged in giving reasons. I can give reasons. Further, different HCs are looking into the issue." Mehta said.
During the hearing, the Court questioned Central Govt officer, Piyush Goyal, as to what has happened about the 490 MT oxygen, and why has it not been supplied to Delhi.
"Mr. Goyal why is not reaching them, the 490 MT? What is the point of allocation then? Don't give us bureaucratic answers." the Court asked Piyush Goyal appearing for Central Government.
The Court was informed by Mr Goyal that problem in supply is regarding the tankers and transporting them to the plants, and supply has not been able to reach Delhi on a daily basis due to shortage.
ASG Chetan Sharma submitted before the Court that if there are some cylinders in Rajasthan, system should be put in place to procure it, as it's being raised again and again. Mr Mehra informed him that a request has been put out in the war room, verbally.
In response to Mehra's submission, the Court stated that Mr. Goyal has quite categorically stated that no such request was made. In response to Bench's query as to why it hasn't been put in writing, Mr. Mehra, stated that considering It's a war room, verbal requests should have been enough, and if they are not, they will put it in writing as well.
The Court also stated that the government made an allocation which is not being fulfilled. The Court said that empty tankers can be airlifted by the Centre, and they cannot say that five days will be taken to give one round of oxygen supply to Delhi.
The Court questioned the Central government as to why it can't make arrangements for Delhi. The Court also asked the ASG why the empty tankers are not being carried back by them, who responded by saying that they are doing whatever is humanly possible.
"Everyday these issues are raised. Maybe we are not in a position to beseech you." the Court asked.
The ASG assured the Court that Pan India, there is reciprocity from both ends, whatever can happen is happening. After the Court stated that it is not in a position to tell the Centre how mapping is to be done, ASG assured the Court that holistic mapping has already been done.
The Court asked if it should ask the amicus to look into it. It further suggested the Centre to increase the supply to Delhi from UP. Sr. Adv. Rajshekhar Rao, who was appointed as the Amicus Curiae at the end of the hearing, agreed with the suggestion and said it would undoubtedly reduce the transport time.
The Court also observed that Delhi did not the allocated quantity of oxygen even for a single day and the major reason for the same has been distance.
The Bench has therefore asked the Amicus Curiae Sr Adv Rajshekhar Rai to examine the allocation order, give his suggestions so as to optimise the usage and reduce the turnaround time, and communicate the same to SG Tushar Mehta.
The Delhi High Court has on Wednesday appointed Sr. Adv. Rajshekhar Rao as the amicus curiae to assist the Court in the matter concerning Covid 19 situation and supply of medical oxygen in the national capital. considering the complexities of the issues involved.
The Court had on Tuesday pulled up the conduct of the Delhi Government, and stated that "Get your house in order. Enough is enough. If you can't do it, tell us, we will ask Central govt to take over. People are dying!"
Asking the GNCTD to pull up its socks on the aspect of distribution of liquid oxygen not only to larger Hospitals but also to smaller hospitals, the Court directed the Oxygen refillers to provide data on the government's portal.
Edited by Srishti Ojha