The audit team appointed by the Supreme Court has found out that the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government exaggerated the oxygen requirement in the national capital by more than four times during the April 25-May 10 peak period of the Covid-19 second wave, reports Times of India.
According to the reports, the Supreme Court-appointed oxygen audit team has exposed the Delhi government’s claims of oxygen shortage in the national capital, saying that the Delhi government had exaggerated the oxygen requirement in Delhi by more than four times during the second wave of the pandemic even as the country was facing it tough to source liquid medical oxygen (LMO).
The audit committee also informed the Supreme Court that the supply of excess oxygen to the national capital could have caused supply constraints shortage for at least 12 states who needed it.
“There was a gross discrepancy (about four times). The actual oxygen consumption claimed by the Delhi government (1,140MT) was about four times higher than the calculated consumption as per the formula based on bed capacity (289 MT),” the SC-appointed oxygen audit committee said in its report.
On March 8, the Supreme Court has ordered the 12-member National Task Force it had constituted to form sub-committees for each state to carry out an audit to determine the Oxygen supplies allocated by the Union Government for each state and Union Territory.
In its submission to the sub-group, the Petroleum and Oxygen Safety Organisation (PESO) had stated that “National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCTD) had surplus oxygen, which is affecting liquid medical oxygen (LMO) supply to other states” and apprehended that the situation could lead to a national crisis.
Delhi govt had claimed oxygen shortage
Earlier, the Petroleum & Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) under the government of India had conducted a similar study, in which it had revealed that Delhi was actually getting more oxygen than it needed.
It is important to note that many hospitals in Delhi had run out of oxygen supply with some facilities claiming critical Covid-19 patients had died due to a shortage in oxygen supply during April-May. This had triggered a war of words between the Kejriwal government and Centre over the supply of LMO to the national capital.
After the Arvind Kejriwal-led government had claimed LMO shortage, a bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud had directed the Union government to maintain the supply of 700 MT of oxygen to Delhi even as the centre had presented a calculation devised by experts to fix the requirement at 415 MT of LMO.
However, days after the Supreme Court had decided to set up a panel to carry out an audit of supply, distribution and utilisation of oxygen supply in the national capital, the Delhi government had taken an u-turn about the deficit of medical oxygen saying that they have access supply of oxygen and could even supply the surplus oxygen to the states who need it.