NEW DELHI: The Congress on Saturday accused the Arvind Kejriwal government of spending crores on publicity but doing nothing in the past one year to augment oxygen storage capacity and set up new plants in the national capital.
Congress leader Ajay Maken said the Centre and the Delhi government can squabble later but they should at least work for public welfare and development during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing a virtual press conference, he said the Centre has informed the High Court that it has sanctioned eight pressure swing absorption (PSA) plants but only one plant has been set up.
The Delhi government has not added even a single PSA plant in the past year and neither has it augmented the oxygen storage capacity in the national capital, he alleged.
“The central and Delhi governments are fighting with each other. The Delhi government and the Centre can fight later over who will rule, but at least work for public welfare and development,” he told reporters.
“Why oxygen plants have not come up in Delhi, whereas states like Rajasthan have set up 24 out of 37 PSA units sanctioned in the past one year and seven big oxygen storage plants,” he asked.
“Instead of doing their bit, they are trying to put the blame on each other to divert the attention. What the Delhi government and the central government has done is criminal. They have not spent a single penny on enhancing oxygen supply and adding storage capacity in Delhi in the past year,” he said, urging them to provide at least oxygen to people struggling to get it.
Maken alleged that the Delhi government spent Rs 355 crore on advertisement and publicity in the last year and another Rs 467 crore has been earmarked as publicity budget for this year.
With a total of Rs 822 crore being spent on advertisements and publicity on Delhi in the last two years, one can set up as many as 800 oxygen plants, adding 750 metric tonnes capacity of oxygen, but the government will not take such a step in public welfare, he alleged.
“The media should put the governments in the dock and question them. Then only pressure will be built on the governments to act. The accountability of governments and leaders is a must,” the former Union minister said, urging the media to highlight the truth.
Maken also pointed out that the report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and family welfare stated in March last year that the government should take measures to ensure oxygen supply and its pricing.
He also referred to the recommendation of the empowered group set up in this regard in April 2020, highlighting the shortage of oxygen that could happen in the country due to the pandemic.