Tribune News Service
New Delhi, May 1
Taking note of 12 deaths at Batra Hospital in the capital due to lack of oxygen supply, the Delhi High Court on Saturday directed the Centre to supply 490 MT of allocated oxygen to Delhi by whatever means or face action for contempt of court.
“Water has gone over our head. Now we mean business. Enough is enough,” a visibly upset Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rekha Palli said.
“We direct the central government to ensure that NCT of Delhi receives its allocated supply of 490 MT during the day itself,” the Bench ordered.
As Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma requested deferment of the order till Monday or at least for half-hour, the Bench said “Do you mean we shut our eyes to people dying in Delhi?”
It said, “Considering the fact that Delhi is not an industrial state, and does not have availability of cryogenic tankers of its own which could be requisitioned under the Disaster Management Act – like other states have done, it falls upon the Centre to arrange the tankers as well, so that the allocation made to Delhi could be fulfilled, lest it remains only a paper allocation.” “The Centre shall ensure availability of cryogenic tankers as well for the said supply,” it said, posting the matter for further hearing on Monday.
“In case, this order is not implemented, the officers concerned — Piyush Goyal and Sunita Dawra — shall remain present during the hearing on May 3. Looking at the situation, we make it clear that we may even consider initiating contempt proceedings in case of non-compliance,” the HC said.
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