New Delhi: Centre has pulled the Arvind Kejriwal led Delhi Government for allegedly failing in resolving logistical issues related to the Oxygen procurement for Delhi Hospitals,
In a hard-hitting letter to Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said that Delhi administration’s efforts to resolve “logistical issues for procuring oxygen have not been up to the mark” at a time when other states and union territories have been making earnest and professional efforts in this regard.
Noting that pro-active actions by the Delhi government could have “avoided tragic incidents”, sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), quoting the letter, said, the Union Home Secretary sent the letter on April 25, after that the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced that the State administration would import 18 cryogenic tankers from Thailand and 21 ready-to-use oxygen plants from France.
Mentioning about various steps taken by the Central Government like stopping oxygen supply to industries, uninterrupted movement of oxygen tankers, airlifting of tankers from abroad in the letter, Mr Bhalla further said all State Governments and UTs have been making diligent and continuous efforts at their level for the past few days to arrange tankers for the allocated quantity of medical oxygen and a specially designated virtual group was formed by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) for facilitation.
“However, Delhi government has hardly been able to arrange any tankers so far though many crucial days have passed since the Government of India made allotment of oxygen,” the Union Home Secretary said, while asking Mr Dev to quickly take the required action like in other states.
The Home Secretary also said presently, there has been no shortage of medical oxygen supply and Delhi had been allocated 480 MT on April 21 after consultation with officers of the Delhi government. “However, it has been brought to my notice that Delhi has received less supply than its actual allocation made by the government of India largely due to logistical issues which are not at all addressed by the state government,” Bhalla noted in his letter.
“In these difficult times, it is extremely important that the Central Government and various states and UTs administration need to work in tandem to tackle this COVID crisis to minimise human suffering.
Therefore, I will request you to take urgent, effective, innovative and result-oriented measures like Chief Secretaries of other states and UTs have taken,” Mr Bhalla said in his communication.
Meawhile, Mr Kejriwal today stated that the scrambling for oxygen, which was witnessed last week amid sudden surge in COVID-19 cases, has been addressed to and the situation has improved significantly in the past two days.
He also informed that his government would set up 44 oxygen plants at various hospitals, including 21 that will be imported from France next month, in addition to Centre’s eight oxygen plants, which will be set up by Aril 30. He also mentioned that the Centre has provided five oxygen tankers to Delhi.