Why does the Center not wake up to the gravity of the situation, asks Delhi HC in the middle of an oxygen crisis | India News

NEW DELHI: A Delhi high court on Wednesday pulled the Center up over several hospitals and faced severe oxygen shortages amid a surge in Covid cases across the country.
Criticizing the Center for the oxygen crisis in several states, the high court wondered why it doesn’t wake up to the gravity of the situation.
“We are surprised and disappointed that hospitals are running out of oxygen but steel plants are still operating,” the court said.
A bench of Magistrates Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said the responsibility to ensure oxygen supply is square is on the shoulders of central government and if necessary, an entire supply of oxygen to industries including steel and petroleum can be diverted for medical use.
The court said the Center should consider all possible avenues to transport oxygen to hospitals, either by creating a dedicated corridor or raising it.
“The steel and petrochemical industries are oxygen guzzlers and diversion of oxygen from it can meet hospital requirements,” the bench said.
Noting how the Tata has decided to divert oxygen to medical use, the court wondered why other companies have not done the same yet.
“If Tatas can divert oxygen they produce to their steel plants for medical use, why can’t others? It’s the height of greed,” he said.
The court also sought to know how the Center is addressing the oxygen shortage in other states as well.
“Our concern is not just Delhi, we want to know what the central government is doing in terms of oxygen supply across India,” the bench asked.
The court was hearing a plea on an urgent need for oxygen in some hospitals in Delhi.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and deputy prime minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday asked for the Centre’s intervention as several hospitals in the national capital are facing severe oxygen shortages.
Amid a surge in Covid infections, the Center decided last week to limit oxygen supply to nine industries in a bid to divert supplies for medical use, while simultaneously blocking flow to other sectors.
(With inputs from PTI)