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Kejriwal government demanded four times more oxygen than required, finds Supreme Court audit panel

A Supreme Court panel has said that the Delhi government exaggerated the city's oxygen requirement by four times when Covid cases were at the peak.

Gonika Arora Gonika Arora @AroraGonika
New Delhi Updated on: June 25, 2021 11:57 IST
Delhi oxygen crisis
Image Source : PPTI/ FILE

Delhi had run out of oxygen supply during months of April-May when patients claimed to have died due to shortage of oxygen supply

The Arvind Kejriwal-led government in Delhi had exaggerated oxygen requirement by upto four times during the Covid-19 second wave, said the oxygen audit committee set up by the Supreme Court in its report.

"The Delhi government's claim of 1,140 Metric Tonnes was four times the calculated consumption as per bed formula, which was 289 MT only," said the panel in its interim report.

The panel, led by AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, that the average consumption of oxygen in Delhi was between 284 to 372 MT.  "The excess supply of oxygen affected other states in need of oxygen," the panel also comprising Delhi government's Principal Home Secretary Bhupinder Bhalla, Max Healthcare Director Sandeep Buddhiraja and Union Jal Shakti Ministry Joint Secretary Subodh Yadav said.

The panel aso noted discrepancies in the data given by Delhi hospitals. It said that four hospitals claimed extremely high medical consumption with very few beds. The claims, it siad, appeared to be clearly erroneous leading to extremely skewed info and significantly higher oxygen requirement for Delhi.

"It was noted that four hospitals in Delhi i.e. Singhal Hospital, Aruna Asaf Ali Hospital, ESIC Model Hospital, and Liferay Hospital have claimed extremely high consumption with very few beds and the claims appeared to be clearly erroneous, leading to extremely skewed information and significantly higher oxygen requirement for entire Delhi," the panel said.

According to the AAP government, city hospitals faced an acute shortage of oxygen supply during months of April-May when cases were at peak. The Kejriwal government blamed the Cetre for for not supplyig enough medical oxygen to hospitals, causing deaths. 

Notaly, the Delhi government had earlier opposed the Centre's plea for auditing oxygen utilisation in the national capital in the Supreme Court and requested the Supreme Court to order an audit of what it said was the "Centre's arbitrary allocation of oxygen and mismanagement of transportation to Delhi".

ALSO READ: COVID-19: Delhi hospitals cry for help amid oxygen shortage

ALSO READ: Delhi govt to give Rs 5 lakh compensation for deaths due to lack of oxygen

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