Amidst rising cases of Covid-19 in Delhi, the failure of the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi Government to prepare for the second wave is baffling. RTI activist Vivek Pandey had submitted an RTI with the Government of Delhi to learn how many ventilators, oxygen cylinders and tanks were purchased between July 2020 to April 2021.
Questions put up in the RTI
In the Right To Information (RTI) application, Pandey had asked the government to provide details of the total number of ventilators ordered and purchased by the Delhi Government between July 2020 to April 2021. In the second query, he had asked the government to provide information on the money spent by the Delhi Government on the procurement of Oxygen cylinders and tanks during the same period. He also requested the breakdown of funds spent month-wise for a clearer picture.
RTI was filed to DROHS Delhi.— Vivek pandey (@Vivekpandey21) May 3, 2021
★ Central procurement agency of Delhi govt. has not ordered and purchased any ventilators between July 2020 to April 2021.
★ Ordered and purchased 4500 units of oxygen cylinders/ tanks cost – 41579908₹ #CoronaUpdate #COVID19 #CovidIndia pic.twitter.com/4YsiBbg1vo
No ventilators were purchased by Delhi Govt
According to a reply received from the Directorate of Health Services, Government of Delhi, not even a single ventilator was procured between the said period. In the reply, the department said that the Central Procurement Agency of the Delhi Government did not order or purchase any ventilators in between July 2020 and April 2021.
The department, in its reply to the second query, said that the Central Procurement Agency of the Delhi Government spent Rs. 4,15,79,908 to procure 4500 units of oxygen cylinders/tanks in between July 2020 to April 2021. All oxygen cylinders were procured in July 2020. That means, since then, the government of Delhi did not spend any more money on arranging more cylinders and tanks for medical oxygen.
It is unclear what was the capacity of the oxygen cylinders or tanks purchased by the Delhi Government. The price of the cylinders varies based on the capacity and brand. Assuming the government purchased all units of the same capacity, per unit cost comes out to be Rs.9,239. In general, oxygen cylinders are available anywhere between Rs.5,000 to Rs.9,000.
The covid situation in Delhi
On May 2, the National Capital reported 20,394 new Covid-19 cases. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 24,444 people recovered in Delhi on Sunday, while 407 lost their lives. 71,977 tests were performed, making it a positive rate of 28.3%. So far, Delhi has reported 11,94,946 cases. 10,85,690 have recovered. There are 92,290 active cases in Delhi, and 16,966 people have lost their lives due to Covid related complications. The death rate of the national capital is 1.41% against 1.09% national average.