Ground Report | New Delhi: Must wait for final report; It would not be fair to say that Delhi increased its oxygen requirements four times during the second wave of COVID, said AIIMS chief Dr. Randeep Guleria who heads the sub-group leading the audit, reacted to a report that has triggered a fresh clash between the Center and Arvind Kejriwal Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the capital.
“Delhi Oxygen audit is an interim report. We should wait for the final report.” When asked whether the demand was exaggerated four times, he said, “I don’t think we can do that,” Dr Guleria told NDTV.
He said, “The matter is in the Supreme Court. We need to wait and see what the top court says about it. The number of active cases and other factors need to be considered.”
The AIIMS chief also said that the matter is under consideration of the Supreme Court. Guleria said, “We need to wait and see what the apex court has to say about this.” “The count of active cases and other factors need to be considered.” The Center has submitted an interim report to the apex court in an affidavit in a case related to oxygen allocation.
On Friday, a report circulated in the media – from sources close to the BJP – claiming that the Delhi government increased the capital’s oxygen requirements by four times at the peak of the second wave and additional oxygen supply to Delhi was due to “other The states were affected”.
Central government sources said that this is an interim report of the audit team of the Supreme Court. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, however, insists that there is no such report and that the claim is part of “malicious and false” propaganda.
Based on the Supreme Court Oxygen Audit Panel’s report, the Center said the Delhi government used the wrong formula to calculate its oxygen requirements and made exaggerated claims in the court on April 30.
“It was discussed that there is a gross discrepancy (about four times) in which it is claimed that the actual oxygen consumption (1140 MT) is about 4 times higher than the consumption calculated by the formula for bed capacity (289BT) was,” the interim report says. An oxygen audit panel, which the Center has submitted to the Supreme Court along with the recommendations of a National Task Force on Oxygen.
The sub-group, led by AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, includes Bhupinder Bhalla, Principal Home Secretary, Government of Delhi, Sandeep Budhiraja, Director, Max Healthcare, Subodh Yadav, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Jal Shakti and Sanjay Kumar Singh of Petroleum and Oxygen Safety Organization (PESO).
The observations are from a study by PESO, a central government entity, which is part of the interim report. The report also said that Delhi’s infrastructure was insufficient to store 700 metric tonnes, the number (oxygen volume) that the Supreme Court ordered the Center to supply to Delhi. Reacting to the report, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “My crime is that I fought for the lives of 2 crore people of Delhi.”