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Centre raises Delhi’s oxygen quota by 100 MT after HC rap

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The Delhi High Court directed the Centre to supply 490 metric tonne of allocated oxygen to the national capital on Saturday itself, or face contempt.

Following the High Court observations, the Centre has raised oxygen allocation to Delhi by 100 metric tonne to 590 metric tonne. The Delhi government has maintained that the city is not getting its allocated quantity of the life-saving gas.

A Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli took note of eight deaths at the city’s Batra Hospital due to lack of oxygen supply and told the government ‘enough is enough’. Hospitals across the national capital had sent out SOS messages last week about depleting supplies of oxygen.

“Do you mean we will shut our eyes to the people dying in Delhi,” it asked the Centre.

“We mean business. Water has gone above the head,” the court said and declined to defer its order.

The court said the government had made an allocation of oxygen to Delhi and should fulfill it.

Eight Covid-19 patients, including the HOD of gastroenterology department, of Batra Hospital here died due to oxygen shortage, officials said on Saturday.

The facility ran out of medical oxygen – for the second time in the space of a week – at 11.45 am on Saturday.

Multiple hospitals told the High Court that their supplier Linde Air is not providing the oxygen.

The Court said, “enough is enough and you will make an arrangement”.

The Court warned that if the order is not implemented, the concerned authority is to remain present in Court on the next date of hearing.

The Court said Delhi is not an industrial state and it does not have cryogenic tankers.

Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma said that everybody is stretched.

“You (Centre) made an allocation. You fulfill it. You comply it,” the Court said.

The Court has directed Central Government counsel Amit Mahajan to forthwith take up the matter with the officers of the Central government on supply of oxygen from Linde and others.

The High Court also asked the Centre what is happening and said if it can’t give oxygen then just say so and be done with it.

The Court has listed the matter for further hearing on Monday.