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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Don’t dither on creation of buffer stock of medical oxygen, Delhi High Court tells Centre

The court said that the creation of a buffer stock of medical oxygen cannot happen in a week as it requires installation of infrastructure.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: August 5, 2021 7:04:07 am
Delhi High Court: Centre not filing reply to plea on reopening Nizamuddin MarkazSenior Advocate Sanjoy Ghose represented the petitioners in the case filed through advocate Kartik Yadav.

The Delhi High Court Wednesday told the Centre that it should not dither on the creation of a buffer stock of medical oxygen in Delhi and questioned its stand on why it was just the state government that had to work for it.

“What happens to the order of the Supreme Court specifically dealing with Delhi. It is an obligation cast on both of you. Either you go back to the Supreme Court and say that the state should do it. You have to take action on this. Please don’t dither on this. Time and again we have flagged this,” said the division bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh, while referring to the April 30 order of the apex court, which directed the Centre and Delhi to prepare a buffer stock of oxygen for emergency purposes.

The court said that the creation of a buffer stock of medical oxygen cannot happen in a week as it requires installation of infrastructure. “Today, when we look at the situation, no doubt you may feel it is a wasted exercise but this is how everyone was looking at the situation in March and then we saw what happened in April and May. We have to create this. There is no escape from it. It is an insurance,” said the bench.

It said that there was no clarity on steps taken by the central government for the creation of the buffer stock. Centre submitted that the Delhi government “seems to have done sufficient for the purposes of creation of that buffer”.

Delhi government on Wednesday told the court that the total storage capacity with the national capital is around 1400 metric tonnes at present — 250 MTs is with re-fillers, 724 MTs capacity in the existing hospitals, and 421 MTs is the extra buffer, of which 221 already stands installed. A 50 MT tank will be installed by August 10 and three tanks of 50 MTs each will be completed by August 18, the state government told the court.

The state government further told the court that it has around 420 MTs of buffer stock of medical oxygen with sources located outside Delhi.

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