Centre, Delhi government pulled up for passing the buck

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Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Pulling up the Centre and Delhi government for shifting the blame to each other amid the Covid-19, Delhi High Court on Monday told them it is their job and they can’t say no to it.A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli was informed that authorities in Rajasthan had stalled the movement of oxygen tankers headed for Delhi. “We hope and expect Rajasthan to honour the order passed by Centre and this court. Intervention in the matter of supply of oxygen would tantamount to endangering hundreds of lives. Serves no purpose to anyone to obstruct,” the bench said in its order. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, replied that strict action would be taken against such persons involved.

The court also directed the Centre to take steps to prioritise the clearance of customs for the import of RT-PCR testing kits.During the hearing, Senior Advocate Sachin Dutta appearing for Jaipur Golden Hospital claimed that the oxygen supply chain was being disrupted by the Delhi government and said, “Enormous SOS calls were made. They arranged something from AIIMS, but it was (some minutes) late. There is shortage and uncertainty. Delhi government doesn’t understand the supply chain…how long after a patient dies should hospitals issue SoS? Inox (oxygen manufacturer) should directly send me the dispatch note. The bureaucratic machinery of Delhi government has completely failed.”

Siddharth Jain, Director, Inox, also brought to the court’s notice the difficulties being faced by suppliers and said, “My factories are working 24×7. When my truck leaves, it is working like a milkman (dropping off small quantities at several hospitals). Our trucks are diverted midway.. Why would I not want to give oxygen? It is my business. Nobody has complained except for Delhi hospitals. I wonder why?”The court also directed all oxygen re-fillers to present for hearing on Tuesday in view of the instances of black marketing of oxygen cylinders in the national capital.



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