Representational pic
Representational pic

Bhopal: An oxygen tanker that started out from Bokaro, in Jharkhand, for Sagar, in Madhya Pradesh, was stopped midway and diverted to Jhansi on Saturday evening. The driver of the tanker said that police constables entered his truck and diverted his route to Jhansi.

Tanker No. UP 78 BT 5404 was bringing oxygen to Sagar Medical College, but was intercepted in Varanasi by the Uttar Pradesh Police on Saturday evening, said sources. The route of the tanker was from Bokaro to Sagar via Varanasi, Mirzapur, Dramandganj, Hanumana, Rewa, Katni and Damoh.

However, the oxygen tanker was intercepted allegedly by the police and was taken to Jhansi. The news related to this tanker reached the collector of Sagar on Sunday morning during tracking of the tanker.

The collector was taken aback when he realised that a senior IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh was involved in changing the route of the tanker. He then called the commissioner of Sagar range and the chief secretary. The chief minister also came to know about the ‘hijacked’ tanker in the morning. Since then, a high-level dialogue started that continued till late in the evening.

Sources say that the chief minister had to talk to the central leaders to pressure the Uttar Pradesh government that was not ready to part with the oxygen tanker. After hectic developments throughout the day, additional chief secretary (home) Rajesh Rajora had to issue a statement that his counterpart from Uttar Pradesh had given a clearance to the tanker.

“The ACS, home, Uttar Pradesh, has given clearance over phone for transportation of the oxygen tanker coming from Bokaro to Bundelkhand Medical College, Sagar. Certain news spread on social media that the Uttar Pradesh government had stopped it is baseless and not factual at all,” said the statement sent by Rajora.

Who is responsible?

In a late-night development, the Uttar Pradesh government had decided to “hand over” the oxygen tanker to the collector of Sagar at the Jhansi border on Monday. But there are no answers to who is responsible for the delay of this tanker by almost 24 hours. This is important as most of the hospitals are running on oxygen quota of only a few hours and hundreds of patients have died for want of oxygen.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal