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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Delhi govt sought four times more oxygen than required: SC oxygen audit panel

The group's interim report, submitted to the apex court, said that the Delhi government's claim of 1,140 Metric Tonnes was four times higher than the calculated consumption as per bed capacity formula, which was 289 MT only.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: June 25, 2021 4:51:23 pm
Delhi oxygen report, SC panel on delhi oxygen requirement, Delhi news, Second wave, Delhi covid casesThe panel has noted "gross discrepancy” in actual consumption claimed vs calculated consumption. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

The oxygen audit committee set up by the Supreme Court during the peak of the second wave of Covid-19 last month has noted “gross discrepancy” in actual consumption claimed vs calculated consumption in the national capital and said that the Delhi government sought four times more oxygen than what was required.

The sub-group’s interim report, submitted to the apex court, said that the Delhi government’s claim of 1,140 Metric Tonnes was four times higher than the calculated consumption as per bed capacity formula, which was 289 MT only. “Sub-group set up by Supreme Court for Oxygen audit of Delhi “noted gross discrepancy” in actual consumption claimed vs calculated consumption by formula for bed capacity. Former (1140 MT) was “about 4 times higher” than latter (289 MT),” the report read.

It further said that four hospitals — Singhal, Aryan Asaf Ali, ESIC Model & Liferay claimed extremely high LMO consumption with very few beds and “the claims appeared to be clearly erroneous leading to extremely skewed info and significantly higher Oxygen requirement for Delhi”

After “recalculation”, the Group said while the “actual consumption of 183 hospitals as per data from Delhi government was 1140 MT, the “actual…consumption after correcting erroneous reporting by 4 hospitals” was 209 MT.

The five-member panel headed by AIIMS Director Randep Gulleria said the Delhi government had made the claims for allocation of 700 MT oxygen using a ‘wrong formula’ on April 30.

It was also evident that some hospitals could not differentiate between KL (Kilo Litre) and MT (Metric Tonne) and the same was not examined while projecting 700 MTs, it said.

The sub-group was set up by the Supreme Court on May 6 to carry out the audit exercise for Delhi’s health infrastructure and allocation of oxygen. Apart from Gulleria, the team included Sandeep Budhiraja of Max Healthcare and two IAS officers not below the rank of Joint Secretary — one each from the Centre and the Delhi government.

According to the report, Controller of Explosives, PESO, has informed that as per 8 am reports on May 13, most of the LMO tanks were filled with more than 75 per cent, while few tanks are completely filled in Delhi.

“It is obvious that there is excess oxygen supply in NCT Delhi, which is further substantiated by the fact that NCT Delhi has picked up only 11 MT LMO from the Air Liquide plant at Panipat by 11 am on May 13. It was also pointed out that Delhi was unable to store all the LMO allotted to it and had asked the suppliers to hold Oxygen reserves at their plants”, the report said as quoted by PTI.

The panel further said that tankers in Delhi are not able to off-load oxygen and many are lying idle as Oxygen tanks in various hospitals are filled.

The panel suggested that 300 MT of quota should be available for NCT of Delhi on an assured basis. According to them, the current oxygen requirement of NCT Delhi ranges from 290-400 MT of LMO.

An additional 100 MT of quota should be provided for Delhi to lift from plants by 4 pm of the day, and the unutilised quota from this 100 MT should be made available for other states to avoid wastage of available oxygen, the panel said.

(With PTI inputs)

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