The Delhi Government was rapped in the Delhi High Court on Saturday during the hearing on the supply of medicinal oxygen to hospitals. The Delhi Government was rebuked by advocate Sachin Dutta appearing for Jaipur Golden Hospital, Solicitor General SG Mehta and also by the Court itself.
OSD Health Ashish Verma from the Delhi Government was rebuked by the Court. The Delhi High Court said that there were certain steps due to be undertaken which he had not. The Court said that other states were taking steps to ensure the smooth supply of oxygen, so there is no reason that the Delhi Government could not.
The Court also told advocate Rahul Mehra, representing the Delhi Government, that there was a mechanism in place to facilitate tanker for supplying oxygen but until the Delhi Government takes the initiative themselves, things will not move forward.
The Court told Verma, “Every state is arranging its own tankers, if you’re not having your own tanks, arrange them. You will have to do it, get in touch with the Central govt officers. We are not here to facilitate contact between officers.”
The Court told Mehra, “If allocation was done 3 days back, why didn’t you exercise your option to look for tankers? Your political head has himself been an administrative officer, he knows how it works.”
The Delhi High Court also said that it appeared that Verma was not taking things seriously enough. It said, “The problem is you think allocation is done so everything will be served at your doorstep but that’s not how it works. After allocation have you made any effort for the tankers to collect the oxygen?”
When the Court was told that they were trying, it said, “What is this? You are also taking the situation lightly. Have you contacted the plants?” The Court also told advocate Mehra, when he tried to shirk responsibility, that all states are making provisions for their own supply after the allocation and that the Delhi Government needs to do the same.
Central Government officer Piyush Goyal said that supply was ready from Rourkela but nobody was there to take it. He said, “All other States are collaborating for tankers, railway. For Delhi, it’s like they are to be served on the platter. We are helping States. Delhi officers need to do that.”
SG Mehta emphasised that there was no mechanism in place in Delhi to ensure that the supply of oxygen was smooth. Mehra replied that they were to put one in place. It was also emphasised that such problems were not faced in any other state and Delhi was an exception.