“If nothing is to be hidden, let it come before the nation how allocation and distribution is done transparently by the centre,” the Supreme Court said.
The Supreme Court on Thursday told the centre that the national capital must get at least 700 tonnes of oxygen every day, as requested by the Delhi government to meet the needs of the city’s COVID-19 patients.
While neighbouring BJP-ruled states like Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have been prioritised, Delhi has been getting roughly half the quantity of oxygen it has been officially allocated, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said.
The Delhi CM sought 700 tonnes of oxygen a day for Delhi, where Covid deaths continue to rise and hospitals keep sending out SOS for medical oxygen every few hours.
“You will have to give 700 tonnes to Delhi (700 tonnes dena hi padega),” the Supreme Court said.
“If nothing is to be hidden, let it come before the nation how allocation and distribution is done transparently by the centre,” the Supreme Court said. “The centre continues to be in contempt for not supplying 700 tonnes of oxygen to Delhi,” it said.
The centre, in its defense, alleged that the Kejriwal government is using the institution of the Supreme Court to speak against the centre. “There has to be an audit because there is systemic failure, but it is not against political leadership or officers. The centre was given mandate twice by the people of this country, and we are very much concerned. We cannot be Delhi centric,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said while representing the centre.
The centre stressed that the medical oxygen problem in Delhi is the city’s own making. “The problem in Delhi is not because of less supply but serious systemic failure in distribution,” the centre said.
On the other hand, Arvind Kejriwal said his administration “won’t let anyone die” of oxygen shortage if it got the earmarked 700 tonnes of oxygen supply every day from the central government.
“If we get an adequate supply of oxygen – 700 tonnes – we will be able to set up 9,000-9,500 beds in Delhi. We will be able to create oxygen beds. I assure you that we will not let anyone die to a shortage of oxygen in Delhi,” Mr Kejriwal said at a news briefing.