New Delhi, May 17 (ILNS) The Delhi High Court today granted liberty to the petitioner to make a representation to the Government, seeking permanent redressal of Oxygen crisis during the Novel Coronavirus pandemic, as the country continued to report more than two lakh cases every day.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh directed the petitioner to make clear the meaning of ‘Big Hospitals,’ as the petitioner prayed that big hospitals be directed to have their own oxygen plant.
The petition submitted that the medical infrastructure of the country has exhausted and was facing acute shortage of medical oxygen, leading to death of many innocent people. Though the respondent no 1 has decided to set up 551 medical oxygen generation plants in hospital of every district of the country, this was inadequate in comparison to the number of hospitals and population of the country.
At present, due to the shortage of medical oxygen in the Hospitals, oxygen had become so precious that there was panic among the people, and black-marketing of medical oxygen was being done. Some shocking news was also coming from various places of the country, that people were hijacking the trucks carrying medical oxygen on its way to the Hospitals, noted the plea.
The petition said oxygen is an inflammable gas and to prevent accidents, it is stored and transported in cryogenic cylinders, but India does not have enough cryogenic cylinders. The Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) medical oxygen plants can become a permanent solution for all the above-mentioned problems, which are being faced by the people in the present pandemic.
It put emphasis on the fact that such plants can come in varying capacities to generate oxygen, employing a technology that absorbs nitrogen from ambient air to concentrate oxygen for supply to Hospitals and oxygen thus generated can be supplied straight to the site through a dedicated pipeline.
The petitioner also raised two major issues. First, oxygen transportation and second, handling cylinders also had a safety aspect to it, as oxygen under high pressure became highly inflammable. Several fires in COVID-19 hospitals across the country in the last few days have been grim reminders of these risks and a permanent PSA oxygen generation plant in the hospitals can take away the risk of handling cylinders.
The petitioner came to the Court, seeking direction for Respondents no 1 (Delhi Government) and 2 (Centre) to make guidelines for establishing the medical oxygen PSA plants in Hospitals and execute the same in a time-bound manner. ILNS/DS/RJ