The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Central Government to set up buffer stock of 100 MT of liquid medical oxygen in collaboration with the Delhi Government for supply to the NCT of Delhi and neighbouring areas.
A division bench comprising of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rekha Palli further directed that steps in this regard must be taken in the next 3 days.
The development came after the amicus curiae Rajshekhar Rao apprised the Court about a detailed discussion with the suppliers stating that the present infrastructure allows them to only supply 480 to 520 MT of liquid medical oxygen per day and not beyond that.
Furthermore, Rao also submitted that it was essential for the Central Government, in collaboration with the GNCTD, to prepare a buffer stock of Oxygen to be used for emergency use and to ensure supply lines continue to function even in unforeseen circumstances.
Finding merit in the aforesaid submission, the Court after noting that a direction has already been issued by the Supreme Court vide order dated 30th April in this regard, ordered thus:
"We, therefore, direct the Central Government to, in collaboration with the GNCTD set up a buffer stock of 100 MT of LMO in the NCT of Delhi, or, for supply to the NCT of Delhi in neighboring areas. Steps in this regard for creation of a buffer stock of 100 MT of LMO be taken in the next 3 days."
It is pertinent to note that the Supreme Court in para 30 of its order directed thus:
"We therefore, direct the Central Government in collaboration with the States to prepare a buffer stock of oxygen to be used for emergency purposes to ensure supply lines continue to function even in unforeseen circumstances. The location of the emergency stocks shall be decentralised so as to be immediately available if the normal supply chain is disrupted to any hospital for any reason. The emergency stocks shall be created within the next four days. The replenishment of the emergency stocks will also be monitored on a real time basis through the virtual control room in active consultation with each state/UT. This is in addition to the day to day allocations."
During the course of hearing, the bench pulled up the Centre for its failure to meet the assurance with regard to the supply of 700MT per day liquid medical oxygen to the Delhi Government in line with the directions passed by the Supreme Court.