Delhi Oxygen Audit Report Not Final, AIIMS Director Guleria Says

Read to know what the AIIMS Director, the two members who objected to the report, and Delhi CM said on the issue. 

3 min read
Hindi Female

After a political row erupted – following an interim report by a Supreme Court-appointed panel, which stated that Delhi had exaggerated its demand for Oxygen by four times – AIIMS director and chairman of the group Dr Randeep Guleria clarified that the claims in the report were not final.

Thereby indicating that the four-time exaggeration was probably inaccurate, to begin with. Guleria added that the controversy over the report was unnecessary as the requirement for oxygen is dynamic. He said people should wait for the final report. “The final report will cover all terms of references,” he told Hindustan Times.

It is this allegation of exaggerated demand and other issues that kept at least two members of this panel from signing off on it. Dr Sandeep Budhiraja, clinical director, Max Healthcare, and Bhupinder S Bhalla, principal secretary (home), Delhi government said they did not agree with the key findings of the report.

The other members of the group are Subodh Yadav, a joint secretary in the Jal Shakti ministry, and Sanjay Kumar Singh, the controller of explosives at the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO).

In this story we cover :

  • What Did Guleria Say?
  • What Were the Objections of the Two Members Who Did Not Sign the Report?
  • What Did Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal Say?

What Did Guleria Say?

When asked if the report was exaggerated four times, Dr Guleria said according to NDTV, “I don’t think we could say that.”

Guleria said, “If you go through the report, you'll see that oxygen requirement is a dynamic process and requirement will change from day to day and from time to time as the pandemic behaves. Therefore, needs and what was being supplied will vary.”

He added, the calculation of demand has been shown in the report, which also shows the actual consumption and demand. “Based on that, interpretation can be drawn but as I said, it’s sub-judice, it’s there on the table and you can see how it has varied from day to day,” he continued, as reported by ANI.

What Were the Objections of the 2 Members Who Did Not Sign the Report?

In an internal note, Bhalla categorically stated that the report did not have the approval of all the members and that it was problematic that it was submitted to the Supreme Court without his objections and corrections.

He said that the data on liquid medical oxygen consumption was a mere collation from hospitals and was not a number that was claimed by the government of NCT of Delhi. His reference was to the 1,140MT that the panel contended the Delhi government listed as the city’s consumption.

Bhalla was not only upset with this allegation but at the manner in which the proceedings of the group were being conducted. He was of the opinion that the report was trying to justify “preconceived and predetermined conclusions”.

The second member, Bhudiraja had sought changes and additions to the interim draft of the report. He also wanted the quantity of allocation of medical oxgen to be arrived at by the oxygen commissioner.

In his response to the interim report, he pointed out that the minutes of the meeting of 15 May were never shared, leading him to not attend a meeting on 18 May.


What Did Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal Say?

According to the Delhi government, the report is invalid and its findings are incorrect.

On Saturday, 26 June, Kejriwal said that the acute shortage of oxygen in Delhi was real. He also said we should get past this controversy.

“If your fight over oxygen is over, do some work? Let's make such a system together that no one lacks oxygen in the third wave. In the second wave, people suffered a severe shortage of oxygen. Now, this should not happen in the third wave. If we fight amongst ourselves then corona will win. If we fight together, the country will win,” he tweeted.

On Friday, 25 June, he had tweeted, “My crime — I fought for the breath of my 2 crore people. When you were doing an election rally, I was awake all night arranging for Oxygen. I fought, pleaded to get people oxygen. People have lost their loved ones due to the lack of oxygen. Don't call them liars, they feel so bad.”

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