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Was Delhi O2 demand exaggerated? AAP, BJP spar over SC Panel Report

The SC panel said the Arvind Kejriwal government exaggerated its demand of medical oxygen four times more than required

Friday June 25, 2021 3:20 PM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS

Manish Sisodia

New Delhi: A Supreme Court panel constituted for oxygen audit of Delhi has found numerous gaps in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government's claims for 700MT medical oxygen during the peak of the second Covid wave.

The panel said the Arvind Kejriwal government exaggerated its demand of medical oxygen four times more than required, and if it were to continue then it could have created a crisis for other states.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) however termed the panel's findings "fake" whereas sensing in it a political point, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) said Kejriwal should be held rrsponsible for the oxygen shortage in the country and should be punished.

Citing the Supreme Court-appointed audit panel's report, the Delhi BJP leaders held Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal responsible for deaths due to oxygen shortage in the national capital and sought action against him.

Addressing a press conference, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said:

"Many people have lost their lives due to the oxygen shortage in Delhi's hospitals and Arvind Kejriwal is responsible for these deaths.

"We hope the Supreme Court will hold Kejriwal accountable and punish him for the crime he has committed."

Patra alleged that the Kejriwal government completely failed in managing the second wave of Covid in the national capital.

"Arvind Kejriwal's works on only one formula: 100 per cent advertising and zero per cent Covid management. Kejriwal has spent Rs 1,000 crore only on advertising. The biggest thing is he has lied four times about oxygen shortage," he said.

"Fake Report"

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on the other hand denied allegations of gross discrepancy in actual consumption of oxygen in the national capital, terming the reports as fake and without approval from the committee.

"There is no such report and BJP leaders are abusing the Kejriwal government on the basis of false reports", he said.

"We spoke to SC's oxygen audit committee and they said they have not approved any such report. I would challenge BJP to bring the report which has been approved by the oxygen audit committee," Sisodia added.

The SC appointed Panel in its report, which AAP said is fake, claimed that four hospitals in Delhi -- Singhal Hospital, Aruna Asaf Ali Hospital, Model Hospital, and Liferay Hospital -- have claimed extremely high oxygen consumption with very few beds and the claims appeared to be clearly erroneous, leading to extremely skewed information and significantly higher oxygen requirement for entire Delhi.

Following "recalculation", the panel contended the actual consumption of 183 hospitals according to Delhi government data was 1,140MT, however, after correcting erroneous reporting by four hospitals, the figure was found at 209 MT.

The interim report by the panel pointed out that the Delhi government claimed its formula for oxygen demand was based on ICMR guidelines but no such guidelines was placed before it.

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