Letters to SC-appointed panel show Delhi govt objected to its interim report on oxygen demand

The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has criticised the discharge of an interim report of the Supreme Court-appointed taskforce on distribution of medical oxygen within the nation.

The taskforce’s chairman Dr Randeep Guleria has clarified that the interim report shouldn’t be a part of the ultimate report. However, a have a look at paperwork submitted to the Supreme Court show the inner debate and objections raised by numerous members of the nationwide panel.

The paperwork show that committee members Dr Sandeep Budhiraja and Delhi authorities’s Principal Secretary (Home) Bhupinder S Bhalla didn’t attend the committee’s assembly on May 18. The dwelling secretary additionally didn’t attend the final assembly of a sub-group of the committee on May 21.

ALSO READ | Delhi govt sought 4 times more oxygen than it needed during 2nd wave, says SC audit panel

Both these members had additionally raised objections to the minutes of the assembly held on May 15, the place the committee had made feedback relating to “excess oxygen demand”.

DELHI GOVT’S OBJECTIONS

On May 31, the Delhi authorities had additionally despatched an in depth notice elevating objections and giving clarifications to the draft interim report shared with the committee members a day earlier.

This notice, signed by Delhi Principal Secretary (Home) Bhupinder Singh Bhalla, who can be a member of the taskforce sub-group, can be a part of the paperwork submitted earlier than the Supreme Court.

In the letter from the Principal Secretary (Home), the Delhi authorities has clarified that the declare that Delhi’s oxygen consumption was round 250 metric tonnes (MT) in late April was “neither correct nor based on verified data”.

The Delhi authorities has additionally referred to as for this paragraph to be deleted from the interim report.

The letter states, “A reading of the draft interim report makes it painfully apparent that the sub-group, instead of focussing on the task, delineated from the terms of order of the Supreme Court dated May 6.”

ALSO READ | Delhi oxygen audit committee report doesn’t exist, it’s BJP-made: Manish Sisodia

‘PURPOSE WAS TO SATISFY PREDETERMINED CONCLUSION’

“The manner in which the proceedings of the sub-group were conducted suggested that the purpose of proceedings was to satisfy a preconceived and predetermined conclusion and narrative to recommend a lower quantity of LMO to Delhi. It was also aimed at further portraying an impression that the assessment by the Delhi government before the high court and the Supreme Court was exaggerated or not genuine,” the letter alleges.

Besides this, it additionally objected to the “formula” utilized by the committee, and states that the Delhi authorities’s method to calculate oxygen requirement was primarily based on ICMR’s pointers.

In addition, it notes that the principal secretary had objected to the remark made relating to oxygenated and non-Oxygen beds.

ALSO READ | Oxygen needs of hospitals change from day to day: AIIMS chief on Delhi audit report

With regard to the calculation made by the committee of 209 MT utilization, the Delhi authorities letter additionally says that the correction needs to be made within the interim report as “revised data for 183 hospitals showed consumption of 390 MT as against calculation of 209 MT”.

The Delhi authorities additionally identified that information utilized by the committee was primarily based on the figures from 214 hospitals, although the whole variety of hospitals and Covid care amenities in Delhi is greater than 260.

“Therefore, the entire basis of assessment/quantification of LMO (liquid medical oxygen) requirements in Delhi is based on incomplete data,” the Delhi authorities mentioned.

Apart from this, the Delhi authorities letter additionally objected to the taskforce questioning the demand for 700 MT of oxygen for Delhi. It clarifies that the calculation for 700 MT has been made as per normal pointers from the Centre/ICMR.

The paperwork additionally show that the oxygen utilization in Delhi was far more than “predicted” by the method.

In a letter despatched to the oxygen sub-group, Dr Sandeep Budhiraja has clearly said that the whole precise consumption of oxygen in Delhi, after taking detailed information via proforma from 214 hospitals, was 490 MT.

ALSO READ | What went wrong in Delhi’s oxygen demand assessment | Decoding error in calculation

“This did not take into account cylinder refilling and non-Covid requirement of hospitals. It was suggested on basis of actual consumption and not on basis of formula that oxygen allocation for Delhi be kept at 500MT and reviewed twice weekly thereafter,” he wrote.

This signifies that the taskforce itself had discovered that the method that was getting used for predicting oxygen utilization was not working, and hospitals had been utilizing extra oxygen than anticipated.

In addition, the letter states that within the final sub-group assembly, it was determined “not to discuss this agenda in the sub-group, as an oxygen commissioner would be taking decisions regarding allocation to states/UTs”.

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