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Why State Forced To Procure Oxygen From Other States, When It Has 3 Production Units Of Its Own? Uttarakhand High Court Asks Centre

Sparsh Upadhyay
11 May 2021 9:34 AM GMT
Why State  Forced To Procure Oxygen From Other States, When It Has 3 Production Units Of Its Own? Uttarakhand High Court Asks Centre
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The Uttarakhand High Court on Tuesday (May 11) heard a PIL filed in connection with the issue of bed availability in the COVID hospitals, among other prayers and observed that the State Government needs to establish more centres for Plasma Donation as the state has only one Centre. Importantly, while hearing the matter, a division bench of Chief Justice RS Chauhan & Justice Alok...

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The Uttarakhand High Court on Tuesday (May 11) heard a PIL filed in connection with the issue of bed availability in the COVID hospitals, among other prayers and observed that the State Government needs to establish more centres for Plasma Donation as the state has only one Centre.

Importantly, while hearing the matter, a division bench of Chief Justice RS Chauhan & Justice Alok Kumar Verma raised an issue as to why the State of Uttarakhand was being forced by the Central Government to procure its oxygen quota from other States, despite the fact that there are three oxygen production units within the State.

The Bench also raised the concern that the Central Government had issued 25 injections to a state which has a population of 2 crores.

The Chief Justice orally remarked,

"Regarding Oxygen Production, Uttarakhand state has not been allowed to use its own quota of oxygen produced by itself, rather, it is getting oxygen from other states. We have called for an explanation from the Central Government. State Govt has submitted that it is helpless and its hands are tied as the control is with the Central Government."

Further, when Advocate Abhijay Negi submitted before the Court that it was quite problematic for the patients to procure the drug, Tocilizumab, the Court said,

"Regarding the procurement of life-saving drug Tocilizumab, the process is cumbersome and there exists red-tapism. The state has pleaded helplessness as the Control is with the Central Government."

Deliberating upon the plight of the people who are facing acute crises during the lockdown and COVID-19, and people who belong to the downtrodden strata of the society, the Court said that there exists a need to implement a schemed to ensure that essential goods reach persons residing in the COVID-19 containment zones.

In this regard, the Chief Justice pointed out that in Telangana, the government is ensuring the daily distribution of rice, wheat, vegetables, food oils etc. to those in containment zones.

The Court also remarked,

"In Telangana, the Government has decided to provide basic food material to people even in the containment zones, whether such schemes have been created by our Government, I have no idea.

In related news, the Uttarakhand High Court on Monday pulled up the state government over its lack of preparedness to deal with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Despite the fact that in January 2021 the scientific community kept on warning about the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the State did not pay any heed", a division bench comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma observed.
"Even though the State has been reeling under the pandemic for the last one and a half years, there seems to be lack of planning by the State to deal with the pandemic", the bench added.
"Unfortunately, for certain mistakes committed, for certain negligence shown, COVID-19 pandemic has taken gargantuan proportions, both in the State and the Nation", the bench noted.


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