The Supreme Court-appointed audit panel said that the Delhi government inflated oxygen need by more than 4 times during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SC audit report said that this exaggeration of the oxygen needs affected supply to 12 high caseload states.
Reacting to this, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said that accountability must be fixed to disrupt India’s oxygen supply.
‘There was a gross discrepancy.’
“There was a gross discrepancy (about four times). This is because the actual oxygen consumption claimed by the Delhi government (1,140MT) was about four times higher than the calculated consumption as per the formula based on bed capacity (289 MT),” said TOI quoting the panel report.
The Petroleum and Oxygen Safety Organization (PESO) said that Delhi had surplus oxygen, and the UT receiving excess O2 could have led to a national crisis.
Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP also reacted to the audit report saying, “People of Delhi suffered, other states faced a crisis due to this mismanagement. This is a damning audit report, hope lessons will be learnt and responsibility fixed.”
In the April-May period, the Delhi government and the Centre were at loggerheads over lack of oxygen in the national capital, with people running from pillar to post for oxygen cylinders, hospital beds and Remdesivir injections.
Delhi needed 300 MT oxygen, AAP govt raised it to 1200 MT
After the intervention of the Delhi High Court, the Centre revised Delhi’s oxygen quota sending more tankers to the national capital by decreasing the allotment to other states.
The audit report further said that Delhi needed 300 metric tons of oxygen, but the Kejriwal government raised the demand to 1200 metric tons.
Meanwhile, the oxygen task force has recommended that a strategy should be formulated to ensure the production of oxygen locally for big cities so that at least 50 per cent of their oxygen demand is met.