Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia wrote to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday alleging that tankers carrying oxygen were not able to reach hospitals in the national capital as they were being stalled by police and officials in UP and Haryana.
“Police and senior officials of the administration in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana are stalling the tankers carrying oxygen, delaying the tankers from reaching Delhi hospitals on time,” Sisodia said in the letter.
“I urge you ensure that the oxygen allocated for Delhi by the Centre reaches there without any delay to save lives of the patients,” he added.
Several small hospitals in the city struggled to replenish oxygen supply for coronavirus patients on Thursday morning, even as some big healthcare facilities received fresh stock overnight.
The Centre on Thursday directed states to ensure uninterrupted production and supply of medical oxygen and its transport along inter-state borders and said the district magistrate and superintendent of police of the district concerned will be held responsible if there is any violation of its order.
The directive under the stringent Disaster Management Act 2005 was issued by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla in the wake of reports that some states blocked supply of medical oxygen to other states amid sudden spike in coronavirus cases and demand for it.
Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia writes to Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan
“Police & senior officials of administration in Uttar Pradesh & Haryana are stalling the tankers carrying oxygen, delaying the tankers to reach Delhi hospitals on time,” the letter reads pic.twitter.com/xeXZ22syDg
— ANI (@ANI) April 22, 2021
Earlier on Thursday, Sisodia, who is also the nodal minister for Covid management in the national capital, warned at a press conference that more than a dozen hospitals have oxygen stock that will last for just a few more hours.
“Makeshift arrangements will not work for long as every hospital is faced with the same situation. Over a dozen hospitals have informed me that they are running out of oxygen stock with many of them saying that their stocks will last for just 4-5 hours,” Sisodia said.
“Delhi is facing oxygen shortage despite the Centre increasing its oxygen quota on Wednesday. Moreover, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana governments are not allowing trucks to supply oxygen to Delhi.
“On Wednesday, the UP government did not allow oxygen loaded trucks to enter an oxygen plant there, which resulted in an emergency situation in many hospitals in Delhi. Today, the Haryana government is doing the same. Its officials have barred the entry of trucks carrying oxygen to Delhi in Panipat,” he added.
Sisodia also claimed that on Wednesday, hospitals in Delhi faced a crisis because out of the 378 MT oxygen sanctioned to Delhi by the Centre, only 177 MT was received.
“Now when the Centre has increased Delhi’s quota of oxygen from 378 MT to 480 MT per day, why are the Haryana and UP governments creating hurdles,” he asked.
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