Delhi’s Deputy Prime Minister Manish Sisodia has sought the cooperation of states in oxygen after cases of holding tankers on the border and suppliers in other states refusing to deliver in fear of law and order problems. Highlighting the oxygen crisis in Delhi, he said, “Delhi should have the quota it was supposed to have”.
“There should be no issues between state governments on this. Each state should have its own quota … we should all fight Corona together, not fight between ourselves,” Mr Sisodia said. He added that the Central government needed to “intervene and fix this issue”.
Tonight, St Stephens hospital sent desperate appeals for help, saying it had only two hours of supply left for its 400 oxygen dependent patients. Several other hospitals sent urgent messages of help that their stocks can last for only a few hours.
Father George, Director of Delhi’s Holy Family Hospital, told NDTV that they have until-night supplies and about 400 patients are on oxygen support. Their Faridabad supplier has refused to bring in more oxygen, citing “orders from above”, he said.
Mr Sisodia said an oxygen tanker had been held up on the Delhi-Haryana border in Faridabad by a government official and resumed his journey only after intervention by the Central government.
The catch came hours after the Haryana government accused Delhi of “robbing” an oxygen tanker bound for Faridabad.
“We are being forced to donate our oxygen to Delhi. First, we complete our needs, then give to others … From now on, I have ordered police protection for all tankers, “said Anil Vij, Haryana Health Minister.
Mr Sisodia said hospitals should not have to waste time and resources tracking oxygen tankers. “Doctors need to focus on treating patients,” he said.
Sources in the Delhi ruling Aam Aadmi Party said the Center had given Delhi a larger quota in light of the current oxygen crisis.
Delhi’s oxygen quota of 378 MT to 500 MT, but still below the 700 MT it had sought. The extra oxygen is expected to come from Odisha.
“We welcome the hike, but even the 378 MT is not fully achieved,” said the AAP leader.