Taking serious cognizance of defective ventilators supplied to the Marathwada region through the PM CARES fund, the Bombay High Court wants to know what action has been taken against the supplier.
The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court noted that out of 150 ventilators supplied through PM CARES fund in the region, except 37 ventilators which are yet to be unboxed, 113 ventilators are found to defective. “We find the situation as regards to dysfunctional ventilators through the PM CARES fund to be quite serious; ventilators are believed to be lifesaving instruments and malfunctioning can put lives of patients in danger.”
The Court asked the Additional Solicitor General Ajay G Talhar to inform it about the correctional methods in case the ventilators are found to be defective. The Chief Public Prosecutor DR Kale representing the state government submitted a compilation of documents pertaining to 150 ventilators received through PM CARES fund by the dean of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) Aurangabad. He submitted that a company named Jyoti CNC had manufactured the said ventilators with model name DHAMAN-III and that the GMCH had deployed 17 ventilators that developed extremely serious flaws.
The Court observed that the flaws included low inlet oxygen pressure display and patient becoming hypoxic when on ventilator and same were life-threatening. It was informed that 55 ventilators were distributed to Hingoli, Osmanabad, Beed and Parbhani districts and 41 ventilators were allotted to private hospitals with a condition that they would not charge patients for the same.
Moreover, letters from private hospitals indicated that all 41 ventilators supplied to them were found non-functional and they had declined to utilize them as a serious threat to the life of the patients was created and have written to authorities to take back the ventilators. Furthermore, the Dean of government hospital in Ambajogai, Beed district also stated that none of the ventilators supplied are worthy of being put to use.
As such, the Court said the company (errant) should not get away with this. “It is the state exchequer money, its not bounty to be distributed.” It also noted that 74 other ventilators supplied by several industrialists including Garare Polyester, Bajaj Auto, Hindalco etc. are perfectly operational and flawless.