During the second Covid wave, Delhi exaggerated its oxygen requirement which could have adversely affected the oxygen supply of other states, the committee constituted for the Oxygen Audit of Delhi stated on Friday.
According to the committee, the demand for oxygen placed by the Delhi government between April 25 and May 10 can be up to 4 times more than the actual requirement.
The Supreme Court on May 8 had formed a 12-member task force to improve the oxygen distribution system in the country. A separate sub-group was formed for Delhi which includes AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, Max Healthcare’s Sandeep Budhiraja along with senior IAS officers from the Centre and Delhi each.
The Petroleum and Oxygen Safety Organization (PESO) has told this committee that Delhi had surplus oxygen that other states could have gotten. The continuous excess supply to Delhi could have led to a national crisis.
According to the calculation done on the basis of bed capacity, Delhi needed only 289 metric tonnes of oxygen. But the government put forth the requirement of up to 1140 metric tonnes. It was about 4 times more than the estimated requirement.
The Supreme Court had ordered the Centre to supply 700 metric tonnes to Delhi daily. Mehta raised the demand for oxygen audit of Delhi.
The report of the committee is yet to be filed in court. The matter is to be heard in the Supreme Court on June 30.
In an earlier hearing, the court had termed the method of estimating oxygen demand only on the basis of bed capacity as impractical. The court had suggested a change in this method.