Why Less Oxygen in Delhi, if Maha, MP Got More: Delhi HC to Centre

The Delhi government had projected the oxygen demand at 780 MT but the city has received 490 MT.

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COVID-19
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Oxygen cylinders in Delhi
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“Why did Delhi not receive the amount of oxygen it had requested, if some other states like Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra were given more oxygen than they had asked for?” the Delhi High Court questioned the Centre, on Thursday, 29 April.

A two-judge bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli pulled up the Centre, asking for its rationale behind the oxygen allocation between the states.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government had projected the capital’s oxygen demand at 780 metric tonnes, as several hospitals have been reporting a severe shortage of medical oxygen for the past two weeks. However, it has been supplied with 490 metric tonne of oxygen.

Referring to the allocation in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, the court said, “When the demand was 445, how do you allocate 540 and if the demand is 1,500, how do you allocate 1,616?”

Speaking on the allegations raised by the Delhi government counsel Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra, the HC said, “By no means are we interested in getting more than what's required for Delhi at the cost of another state. However, if submissions of Delhi or Amicus were to be accepted, it would appear the Central government needs to explain this.”

While granting SG Tushar Mehta, who’s representing the Centre, one day's time to provide the response and put it on record, the HC lamented about the situation in Delhi.

"There is a scramble, people are coming anywhere for oxygen — to be in the right place at the right time,” Live Law quoted the HC as saying.

The SG tried to justify the same, saying that MP, which has also seen a surge, has a population three times more than Delhi's. He also said that the Centre is trying to augment oxygen supply from wherever it is possible.

"It is not NDA helping AAP but Centre is helping the state. 90 percent of our time is spent in firefighting the Delhi situation." the report quoted SG Mehta.

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