On a day Arvind Kejriwal thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for supplies of liquid medical oxygen for Delhi, his Aam Aadmi Party government’s stand in the Supreme Court was as at variance with the Chief Minister’s conciliatory tone.
“Delhi requires 700 metric tonnes of oxygen every day. We have been requesting the central government to help arrange the same. For the first time yesterday, Delhi received 730 MT of oxygen,” the Chief Minister said in his letter to the Prime Minister.
“On behalf of the people of Delhi, I thank you. I request you to see that Delhi gets this amount of oxygen on a daily basis and that there is no cut,” he added.
The letter comes amid a bitter tussle between the centre and the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government in Supreme Court over oxygen supply to the national capital.
At the hearing today, the Delhi government, taking on a more aggressive tone, said that centre continues to be in contempt for not supplying 700 MT of oxygen to the city-state.
“People of Delhi are dying and the centre cannot dilute Supreme Court’s orders,” Delhi Government’s lawyer Rahul Mehra said.
Further, the Delhi government said the demand for oxygen has gone up five times and it does not have control over tankers.
The Supreme Court told the centre that its formula for oxygen allocation for Delhi has been an exercise in gross undercounting and that it requires a complete revamp.
“The centre’s formula for oxygen allocation on the basis of beds requires complete revamp. The formula does not take into account transportation, ambulance and Covid care facility,” the top court said.
The top court had yesterday directed the centre to submit a plan for ensuring Delhi received its quota of around 700 metric tonnes of oxygen per day.
More than 40 hospitals on Monday had sent out SOS messages over depleting oxygen reserves, and the resultant threat to patients’ lives.
Oxygen supplies to Delhi hospitals and the harrowing accounts of patients have been a major and tragic headline over the past fortnight.
Last week 12 people died at a private hospital in the city, and horrific stories have emerged of desperate family members scrambling to get oxygen cylinders.