The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the central government to take a cue from Mumbai civic body on handling the oxygen crisis in the national capital. The apex court was hearing centre’s plea challenging the show-cause notice issued by Delhi High Court asking why contempt charges should not be pursued against officials for its failure to supply 700MT oxygen to Delhi.
A bench led by Justice DY Chandrachu recommended that the Chief Secretary of the Union Health Ministry speak with the Mumbai Municipal Commissioner on the matter.
“If the health secretary of Delhi Govt and centre has a meeting with Iqbal Singh Chahal of Mumbai Municipal Corporation and draw from experience and tell us how you plan to create storage tanks and install it for Delhi, the court said adding that the modality can be based on Bombay model which has been successful in a large metropolis,” the Bar and Bench reported.
“Please ensure that benchmark we fixed is achieved…Tell us in the evening how much capacity you will ensure for Delhi,” he added.
When the Centre claimed that Delhi can manage with 500 tonnes of oxygen, the apex court disagreed saying its orders were for 700 metric tonnes and that 550 metric tonnes it was getting now will not resolve the city’s problem.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehra represented the Union government, while senior advocate Rahul Mehra appeared on behalf of GNCTD.
Mehta told the Supreme Court, “The Centre and Delhi government are both making best efforts. This is not adversarial. Putting officers in jail will not ensure oxygen supply. The Centre is preparing a module for supplying oxygen to various states.”
Ealier on Tuesday, the Delhi High Court issued a show cause notice to centre over the ‘non-compliance’ of the Supreme Court’s May 2 order that directed the Centre to rectify the issue of shortage of medical oxygen in Delhi hospitals on or before the midnight of May 3.
“You can put your head in sand like ostrich, we will not,” the high court said, reprimanding the Centre. The high court said that the Centre said that a compliance affidavit is being filed in Supreme Court. “We fail to understand what good a compliance affidavit will do when the required oxygen is not being brought to Delhi? Even the allocated oxygen has not been delivered on a single day,” the high court said.