New Delhi: The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to ensure supply of 700 metric tonnes of oxygen to the National Capital on a daily basis to tide over the major oxygen crisis.
On Thursday, a bench comprising of Justices D Y Chandrachud and MR Shah was hearing the Centre’s Special Petition (SLP) against the Delhi High Court’s contempt notice to its officials for failing to secure a supply of 700 MT of oxygen to Delhi as directed by the SC on April 30.
Alleging step-motherly treatment to Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said while neighbouring BJP-ruled states are being given priority, the city has been getting roughly half the quantity of oxygen it has been officially allocated.
He requested for 700 tonnes of oxygen a day for Delhi to meet the patients’ need.
The Top Court said that until a scientific audit to ascertain the actual requirement of oxygen in the NCT of Delhi is carried out, the Centre will have to supply 700 MT of oxygen to the National Capital daily. In case the oxygen gets surplus, it can used for creating buffer stocks for emergencies.
“We want 700 MT to be supplied to Delhi on a daily basis. Please don’t force us to be in a situation where we have to be firm,” Justice Chandrachud observed.
At this, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Court that on Wednesday, 730.7 MT oxygen was received by Delhi, as per the report of the Delhi government itself. It is more than the court’s direction of 700 MT, he added.
“I know for a fact that it has not come to be distributed as yet. It is important to point out that after this huge supply, unloading is taking long, which is increasing the turnaround time for the tankers”, Live Law quoted him as saying.
At a news briefing, Mr Kejriwal had said yesterday, that his government will not let anyone die of oxygen shortage if it got the allocated 700 tonnes of oxygen supply per day from the Centre.
“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,” he said.