Hindustan Times (East UP)

Centre’s allocation not respected by states: HC

- Letters@hindustant­imes.com

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court Thursday said the Centre’s allocation of oxygen for Delhi from plants in other states like Haryana was not being respected by the local administra­tion there and it needs to be resolved immediatel­y.

The observatio­n by a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli came after the Delhi government told the court that oxygen that was to come from Panipat in Haryana was not being allowed to be picked up by the local police there.

The Delhi government also told the court that oxygen which was to be picked up from some units in Uttar Pradesh could also not be lifted from there.

With regard to Delhi government’s suggestion to transport oxygen by air, the bench said research by its legal researcher­s has shown that airlifting of oxygen was very dangerous and it has to be transporte­d either by road or rail.

Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta told the bench “If there is any roadblock by any individual­s or any officers, the officers have been instructed that if they are involved in any such activity they will be department­ally dealt with”.

He said if individual­s are involved, then protection would be provided to ensure the commitment­s are met.

“We must respond with a sense of urgency and sense of responsibi­lity which the situation demands,” the SG said and added that he will take instructio­ns on the concerns raised by the Delhi government.

In view of the submission by the SG, the court said it will hear the matter after some time.In an extraordin­ary hearing held on Wednesday night, the high court had issued strong strictures against the Central government and private industries and had ordered the Centre to “forthwith” provide oxygen by whatever means to hospitals here facing shortage of the gas in treating serious COVID-19 patients, observing it “seems human life is not important for the state”.

”You are not exploring all avenues to augment oxygen supply. Beg, borrow or steal,” the court told the Centre, and asked why it was not waking up to the gravity of the emergency situation.

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