The Supreme Court Wednesday lauded the efforts of Maharashtra authorities in ensuring oxygen supply to COVID patients in Mumbai and asked the Centre and the Delhi government to talk with the civic body officials of that city to learn about augmenting and managing the supply.
The observations were made during the hearing and in the order of the top court which stayed contempt proceedings initiated by the Delhi High Court against central government officials for non-compliance of direction to supply 700 MT of oxygen for COVID patients to Delhi.
A bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud took note of the submissions of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that Mumbai managed with 275 MT of oxygen even when the active cases had crossed 92,000.
"I do applaud the Mumbai model. It is not a political model. As an officer of the court, not for Centre or state, we need to find a solution. People cannot run from pillar to post. This is not to undermine the efforts of Delhi," the law officer said.
"There is a wealth of information coming in every day. Bombay Municipal Corporation is doing some great work, with no disrespect to Delhi. What they are doing, how they are managing. We can learn from them. I also understand that Maharashtra also produces oxygen which Delhi cannot do," said the bench, which also comprised Justice M R Shah.
The bench asked the Chief Secretary and Principle Health Secretaries of Delhi Government and the officials of Central Government to have a discussion with the Commissioner of Mumbai's civic body on their model of augmenting oxygen supply.
"If this can be done in Mumbai, which is an incredibly congested city, then it can be done in Delhi as well," it said while asking officials of Delhi and Central governments to talk to Mumbai's officials concerned on creation of "storage tanks and buffer storage".
The apex court conducted urgent hearing on the Centre's plea against the high court show-cause notice on contempt and an order seeking personal appearance of its two senior officials for failing to comply with the directions to ensure supply of 700 liquid medical oxygen (LMO) to Delhi.