SC Lauds BMC’s Oxygen Management, Asks Centre And Delhi Government To Talk With Civic Body Officials

Justice Chandrachud also noted that buffer stocks of oxygen had to be created for emergency purposes.

The Supreme Court Wednesday lauded the efforts of Maharashtra authorities in ensuring oxygen supply to COVID patients in Mumbai.

The apex court asked the Centre and the Delhi government to talk with the civic body officials of that city to learn about augmenting and managing the supply.

A bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud took note of the submissions of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that Mumbai managed with 275 MT of oxygen even when the active cases had crossed 92,000. “I do applaud the Mumbai model. It is not a political model. As an officer of the court, not for Centre or state, we need to find a solution. People cannot run from pillar to post. This is not to undermine the efforts of Delhi,” the law officer said.

The SC made these observations during the hearing and in the order of the top court which stayed contempt proceedings initiated by the Delhi High Court against central government officials for non-compliance of direction to supply 700 MT of oxygen for COVID patients to Delhi.

The SG continued that the cases in Mumbai were also receding, and that despite similar caseloads, the oxygen consumption in Mumbai was lesser. Mumbai managed with 275 MT of oxygen even when the active cases had crossed 92,000. The SG said that Bombay was requested to send a model so that other States could emulate the same.

Justice Chandrachud also noted that buffer stocks of oxygen had to be created for emergency purposes. He further suggested that the Chief Secretaries and Health Secretaries of both the Delhi Government and the Central Government should have a discussion with the Commissioner of Mumbai Corporation to draw from Mumbai’s experiences.

“If this can be done in Mumbai, which is an incredibly congested city, then it can be done in Delhi as well. If both the Chief Secretary and Health Secretary of Delhi and Centre could converse with BMC commissioner and the additional commissioner, if you can draw from that experience, how you can create storage tanks, and buffer storage etc, if you can do that between today and Monday, we will get a plan in place for Delhi on the Bombay model, we will have a fairly successful model in a global metropolis in Delhi” observed Justice Chandrachud.

“We want to analyse what was done in a large metropolis like Mumbai and how it can be emulated, as we are answerable to citizens of Delhi”, the Judge added.

The Bench noted:

“There has been a consensus that a team of officers from the GNCTD and the Centre will engage within next three days with the officials and medical experts of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and derive some learning from the modalities which were followed in augmenting oxygen supply. Based on those shared experiences, steps can be taken, for replicating the administrative arrangements in Mumbai in Delhi”.

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