Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today alleged that the Centre has reduced Delhi’s quota of medical oxygen and diverted it to other states. He also wrote to Union minister Piyush Goyal, alleging that 140 Metric Tonnes of Oxygen meant for Delhi was diverted to other states and should be restored. The national capital, he said, is facing an acute shortage of oxygen, and declared the issue has become “an emergency”.
“Del is facing acute shortage of oxygen. In view of sharply increasing cases, Del needs much more than normal supply. Rather than increasing supply, our normal supply has been sharply reduced and Delhi’s quota has been diverted to other states. OXYGEN HAS BECOME AN EMERGENCY IN DEL,” tweeted the Chief Minister who had assured after the morning’s cabinet meeting that the matter is being looked into.
Del facing acute shortage of oxygen. In view of sharply increasing cases, Del needs much more than normal supply. Rather than increasing supply, our normal supply has been sharply reduced and Delhi’s quota has been diverted to other states.
OXYGEN HAS BECOME AN EMERGENCY IN DEL
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal)
“We need beds, oxygen supply… ICU beds and oxygen we are trying to arrange,” Mr Kejriwal had told reporters after this morning’s cabinet meeting. His deputy Manish Sisodia had tweeted that the Delhi government has already asked the Centre for help for procurement of oxygen.
In his letter to Mr Goyal, who handles the industries portfolio, Mr Kejriwal wrote: “The output of M/s Inox, one of the major suppliers to various hospitals of Delhi, has been largely diverted to other states. At this critical juncture, it would not be possible for hospitals to enter into contractual arrangements with the new suppliers who have now been assigned to Delhi”.
The disruption, he added, has started causing “critical shortage” across major hospitals.
“I would request you to kindly look into the matter personally and give appropriate instructions to all concerned for ensuring uninterrupted supply of 700 MT of Oxygen on daily basis and restoration of 140 MT of Oxygen by M/s Inox to Delhi…” he added.
Mr Goyal, who while slamming Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, had said the country is making oxygen to 110 per cent of its capacity, today tweeted a video of trucks being loaded.
“Roll on Roll off Oxygen trucks getting loaded for Oxygen Express. Under PM @NarendraModi ji’s leadership, Govt of India is committed to doing everything possible to help COVID-19 patients,” read the tweet of the minister, who also handles the railways portfolio.
In a second tweet, the minister said, “Railways is leaving no stone unturned in the battle against COVID-19. We will be running Oxygen express trains using green corridors to get Oxygen in bulk and rapidly to patients”.
Several states, like Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh are already suffering an oxygen crunch. Others, like Punjab, said they were heading for a crisis and asked the Centre to make arrangements for more. In many places, people are being forced to purchase oxygen at black market rates.
On Friday night, the Centre issued its third emergency order in 24 hours. The import of 50,000 metric tonnes of oxygen has also been authorised.
Delhi logged an unprecedented 25,462 cases over the last 24 hours, pushing the total above 8.5 lakh. The number of fatalities was 161.