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What if the Oxygen Audit was not done in Delhi?

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Yesterday, the oxygen audit committee submitted its report to the Supreme Court stating that there was a gross discrepancy in the actual demand of oxygen and the demand made by the Delhi government. 

If the committee would have been absent then, the Delhi government wouldn’t hesitate to demand even 1200 MT oxygen to Delhi when the actual demand was only 290 MT blocking legitimate demands of other states. In the Mid-April when the second wave was on its peak, Delhi’s oxygen demand started increasing and went almost upto 700 MT. The demand was backed by no justification or breakdown. 

Surprisingly, the Supreme Court also without any verification of the data from the Delhi government gave an ultimatum to the Union Government to supply 700 MT of Oxygen by any means on 6th May. 

It turns out that, many hospitals had overstated their demands in the month of April, some of the hospitals could not even distinguish between Kilo Litres (KL) and Metric Tonnes (MT) while giving their demands to the Delhi government. Nor the Delhi government verify these demands properly. The Delhi government also calculated their Oxygen Demand on the wrong formula, the calculation formula used by the Delhi government is different from the formula recommended by the Centre. The central government rules say 50 percent of non-ICU (intensive care unit) beds should be calculated for oxygen saturation of 92-94 percent. The Delhi government formula uses 100 percent beds for calculation. Inflating the oxygen demand. 

On 8th May the Supreme Court set-up  an Oxygen Audit of the demands of the state. On 12th May first assessments came before the committee in which they found gross discrepancies and overall demand as high as 1140 MT. On 13th May, In a generous manner Manish Sisodia the Deputy CM of Delhi announced that suddenly our demand for oxygen has fallen down (Now you know why this generosity) and they will supply the excess oxygen to other states. 

Starting from 25th April to 13th May which is approximately 19 days, Delhi was demanding 200 MT of excess oxygen for the centre and blaming the centre for the oxygen mismanagement. 

Many andolan jeevis voluntarily lent their support to their favourite CM Kejriwal in the cry pit. 

The interim report also states that Delhi had very less storage capacity which increased the turnaround time for the trucks which also slowed down further supply. In addition to that Delhi was holding back 100 MT tonnes of oxygen for emergency and not supplying it to the SOS calls it received and further blamed the centre for shortage of oxygen. 

Imagine, if the Audit report was not conducted by the Supreme Court? Delhi government would not have hesitated to demand oxygen to the tune of 1140 MT which was 500 MT excess of its actual demand. It already overstated its demand by 200 MT anyway, which could have been diverted to other states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and many lives could have been saved. Go back and read the news from last week of April to Second Week of May and how the Centre was blamed for the oxygen crisis. It’s not about supporting a government, it’s about how the people’s chief minister politicised even the life saving oxygen in this period of crisis. 

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