New Delhi, May 4 (ILNS): An interesting suggestion today came up before the Delhi High Court, which is hearing a slew of petitions regarding the shortage of oxygen and other life-saving drugs and shortage of beds in the Capital during this COVID-19 pandemic.
The suggestion was to divert oxygen tankers from states that have seen a dip in cases – such as Maharashtra – to Delhi, to cover the storage in the Capital.
The suggestion was placed before the Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli, by Amicus Curiae Rajshekhar Rao, and this was well received.
While on the discussion of tankers and their availability, Delhi Counsel Rahul Mehra said: “We have GPS trackers in the tankers.”
Justice Sanghi: “It is for tankers. But do they have someone to talk on the phone to Linde (another oxygen manufacturer, like Inox)? These officers can do it.”
The Senior Advocate replied: “I assure you on behalf of the Delhi government that whatever he wants, we will provide. We are not against him. But, he should be there for us.”
Justice Sanghi: “So far the transportation of cylinder is concerned, it could be done by any vehicle. You are saying cylinder to be filled and come in trucks. The delivery can be done by other vehicles.”
Amicus Rajshekhar Rao: “Just like ASG Chetan Sharma said, tankers are dynamic. This is something the Union could consider. As the Maharashtra situation is under control as far as oxygen is concerned, they could send their tankers to Delhi for some time to aid Delhi. This will allow Delhi to have better storage.”
ASG Chetan Sharma: “I am sure the Virtual War Room is looking at this. But it is a wonderful suggestion by the Amicus and I’ll take my instructions and inform. I’ll also inform the Union to look into states where there is a dip and Delhi could get storage in the form of tankers.”
Amicus Rao: “We have to find a temporary solution. Southern states can’t be engaged for tankers, because it takes more time to travel. Another thing, 120 MT liquid can’t be directed to deliver oxygen to multiple places. The available tanker, though has a capacity of 16MT, but cannot transport 16 MT.”
Justice Sanghi: “What we gather from ASG Sharma’s submission is that the capacity may be 1,000 MT, but per day delivery is one third of that.”
ASG Aishwarya Bhati: “We will get back to you with scientific data. There are EG1 and EG2 (empowered groups) and it is considered (assumed) that if the tanker is coming, it is full. This is not the case.”
Justice Palli: “How many people do you have, or how many suppliers do you have in the group? Mr Sharma is submitting one thing and you another. Maybe you need to involve some brilliant people who will aid you in this. All we want is, whatever fleet you have, it should be put to best use.”
ASG Sharma: “I’ll flag the issue and the same shall be conveyed in the best manner. All of us are in a state of war and we should fight it all together. I apologise for my comments earlier to you and Mr Mehra.”
ASG Aishwarya Bhati: “The entire logistics is not just happening to one department. But (involved are the) railways, roadways and others. But we will come back with an answer.
ASG Chetan Sharma: “It is a suggestion well taken about dip In Maharashtra.”
Rahul Mehra: “While they are reverting on this, can I place a map and route as to how we are proposing it, so that we can get a response from war room? This is because My Lord has seen that we enquired six days back, and no response has been received.”
ASG Sharma said it could be taken by the War Room directly.
Mehra then showed the court how containers should move timely to optimise the functioning and better transport. ILNS\KR\SJ\RJ