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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

‘Shouldn’t hide oxygen deaths’: Sisodia again seeks L-G nod to form panel

Recently, the Centre said in the Rajya Sabha that no state had recorded any death because of the lack of oxygen during the country-wide deadly second wave.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: August 17, 2021 8:57:11 am
‘Shouldn’t hide oxygen deaths’: Sisodia again seeks L-G nod to form panelDelhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. (File Photo)

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said Monday that he has again submitted a file to L-G Anil Baijal, seeking approval for the formation of a committee that will look into allegations of deaths because of the scarcity of medical oxygen during the Covid wave that hit the city in April and May.

A similar committee had earlier been proposed by the Delhi government earlier but did not get approval from the L-G.

Recently, the Centre said in the Rajya Sabha that no state had recorded any death because of the lack of oxygen during the country-wide deadly second wave. The Delhi government later countered the Centre saying that it had not been possible for them to give any details because the committee that was supposed to look into the allegations for these deaths was not allowed to be formed.

“I have sent the file to the L-G again today and am hoping for a quick approval. The Centre has also said that it wants to know how many such deaths occurred and the committee has to be formed to look into it. It is an extremely serious matter if people die because of the lack of medical oxygen, and we can’t run from this. If we try to hide something, it will not be a good practice in governance, especially at a time when there is emphasis on transparency,” Sisodia said.

At the time, officials at the office of the L-G Anil Bajail had said that the committee was not deemed necessary because the Supreme Court was looking into the matter.

Two hospitals in Delhi — Jaipur Golden in Rohini and Batra Hospital near Badarpur — had said that Covid patients in their hospitals died because of a shortage in medical oxygen.

An expert committee set up on the orders of the Delhi High Court to look into the assertions of the administration of the Jaipur Golden Hospital, however, said that it could not be ascertained whether the patients had died of the lack of oxygen or not because the documents shared by the hospital did not officially indicate or record the lack of oxygen.

The committee earlier proposed by the Delhi government was to look at complaints and allegations of deaths because of the lack of oxygen and approve a compensation of Rs 5 lakh in case the allegations were found correct.

Sisodia said Monday that he had also written to the Home Minister Amit Shah, giving a background on the issue so far. “I wrote to him and told him how Delhi struggled for oxygen at the peak of the wave in Delhi. This is something he was also well aware of. I told him why the committee was being formed and that it aimed to compensate kin of people who may have died of the lack of oxygen. I also told him that without an enquiry, it is not possible to say how many may or may not have died due to the scarcity… I hope we get the permission to set up this committee soon,” Sisodia said.

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