Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the national capital had received 730 tonnes of oxygen supply against its daily demand of 700 tonnes on 5 May from the union government for the first time since the crisis began after Covid-19 infections increased rapidly.
Addressing a press conference here on 6 May, Kejriwal — following a submission by the union government before the Supreme Court for an oxygen audit — expressed gratitude to the Narendra Modi government, Delhi High Court and Supreme Court.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had on 7 May asked the union government to keep supplying 700 MT of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) to Delhi for treating Covid-19 patients on a daily basis till further orders. Headed by Justice DY Chandrachud, an apex court bench took note of the submission of the Delhi government on deficient supply of LMO to the national capital and warned that it will pass orders against officials concerned if 700 MT of LMO is not supplied daily.
The union government had on 6 May told the Supreme Court that it was acting responsibly to alleviate the suffering of people due to Covid-19 by making every possible effort to augment the supply of oxygen, as it understood that it was a constitutionally elected government.
The union government rebutted the Delhi government’s accusation that the oxygen allocation was arbitrary. The Centre favoured creating an effective mechanism to deal with the allocation and distribution of oxygen to the states, it had said in the court. It told the apex court that the Delhi government had made it a “Centre versus Delhi fight”.
In another case, wherein Karnataka HC ordered directing Centre to supply 1200MT of oxygen to the state, the Supreme Court refused to interfere, asking the Centre to increase the daily liquid medical oxygen (LMO) allocation for the state from 965 MT to 1200 MT for treating Covid-19 patients.
It refused to entertain the union government’s contention that if every high court started passing orders for allocating oxygen, it would throw the supply network of the country haywire.