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Batra Hospital incident: Oxygen plants, generators essential in a hospital, says Delhi HC

ANI | Updated: May 01, 2021 18:09 IST

New Delhi [India], May 1 (ANI): Oxygen plants and oxygen generators are essential in a hospital and it is irresponsible not to have them, observed the Delhi High Court on Saturday while hearing a batch of petitions regarding the shortage of oxygen supply.
The observation of the bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rekha Palli came on Saturday after taking note of Batra Hospital official submissions that "we were out of oxygen for some time today and lost lives of eight patients including our own doctor due to that."
On that, the Bench suggested to the hospital to install an oxygen plant. It said that hospitals should learn from their experiences regarding oxygen scarcity and put in place oxygen plants to better tackle the situation in the future.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Government Counsel submitted that there is short supply by the main vendors of oxygen suppliers. Counsel added, "We don't know what's going to happen in the next few hours in Delhi. From last night, the situation is severe. How will we manage? We are receiving SOS from almost every hospital."
Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra representing Delhi Government also submitted, "We are even not even getting a supply of allocated 490 MT of oxygen. Situation in Delhi is worsening. There is no or less supply. We don't know what is going to happen in the next few hours."
On that, the Court warned that if an order is not implemented, concerned authority should remain present in court on the next date of hearing.
Court also directed Centre to ensure that Delhi receives its allocated 490MT oxygen supply today by whatever means. The Court also warned that it may consider initiating contempt proceedings against the Centre, if allocated oxygen is not supplied to Delhi today. "Water has gone above the head. Now, we mean business. You (Centre) will arrange everything now, " the Court said.

Considering the fact that Delhi is not an industrial State, and does not have availability of cryogenic tankers of its own which could be requisitioned under the Disaster Management Act - like other States have done, it falls upon the Central Government to arrange the tankers as well, so that the allocation made to Delhi could be fulfilled, lest it remains only a paper allocation, " the High Court said.
The Court said that the Central Government shall ensure the availability of cryogenic tankers as well for the said supply.
It noted that pertinently, the allocation to Delhi, which was earlier of 480 MT (since April 20), and now is of 490 MT has not been fulfilled even for a single day.
"In case this order is not implemented, the concerned officers of the Central Government viz. Mr Piyush Goyal and Ms Sunita Dawra shall remain present during the hearing on 03.05.2021. Looking to the situation, we make it clear that we may even consider initiating contempt proceedings in case of non-compliance, " the Court said.
During the hearing, Dr S. Bankata, Executive Director from Batra Hospital informed the Court that there was a delay in the supply of Oxygen due to which, Oxygen supply was interrupted for about an hour and a half, which has led to a loss of eight lives, including a doctor of the said hospital.
Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for Delhi Govt has informed Delhi High Court that he has received an SOS message from Bidhuri, who is the officer tasked with the job of ensuring supply to hospitals in Delhi, that the reserves of the GNCTD are exhausted, and there is no supply/ minimal supply from the plants of Linde and Air Liquide today.
Mehra has expressed serious concerns as to how the Capital would tide over the shortage today, as a lot of hospitals and nursing homes have run out of medical Oxygen, or would do so in the coming few hours. (ANI)