Amid the ongoing oxygen crisis in Delhi, the Delhi High Court charged the Centre over supplying just 490 metric tonne oxygen when the Centre submitted that Delhi was not entitled to 700 MT of medical oxygen in light of existing medical infrastructure. The high court said that as per Supreme Court's April 30 order it shows that the apex court directed the government to provide 700 MT of oxygen and not just 490 MT.
It further said that the Supreme Court has already directed and now the high court is also saying that the Centre will have to supply 700 MT oxygen daily to Delhi right away by whatever means.
You can put your head in sand like an ostrich, we will not" the high court said. "Are you living in ivory towers?" A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli also rejected the Centre's submission that Delhi was not entitled to 700 metric tonnes of medical oxygen in light of existing medical infrastructure.
"We see grim reality everyday of people not able to secure oxygen or ICU beds in hospitals" which have reduced beds due to gas shortage, it said.
The Delhi high court also asked the central government to divert the unutilised tankers of oxygen to Delhi from states like Maharashtra where the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) situation is improving.
The court also asked the central government to clarify how many oxygen suppliers there are in its empowered group to tackle the Covid-19 crisis. "What you are planning is all in the future. But our main concern is to ensure if it is being done in the most efficient way possible. If the suppliers are major stakeholders, they should be brought into the allocation plan" the court noted.
The court also asked the Centre about the request of the Delhi government seeking aid from the Indian Army to set up field hospitals. The high court directed two senior central government officers to be present before it on Wednesday to respond to the notice.