Delhi govt portal to track supply and stock of oxygen in real time

Published on Apr 26, 2021 03:18 AM IST

As he extended the ongoing lockdown in Delhi by a week, Kejriwal also said on Sunday, “Delhi is facing a severe shortage of oxygen.

The country is facing shortage of oxygen in the wake of surge in demand amid second Covid wave.
The country is facing shortage of oxygen in the wake of surge in demand amid second Covid wave.
ByAbhishek Dey, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said the government has developed a portal in which all stakeholders involved in the supply chain of medical oxygen will have to feed real-time updates on consumption, stock, departure and arrival of tankers, etc every two hours, even as, his office said, he wrote to several industrialists in the country seeking their help in addressing the oxygen shortage amid a massive surge of Covid-19 in the city.

“Availability of oxygen is a major problem now. So, it has become very important to manage what we have with us. We have opened a portal in which all stakeholders in the supply chain – from manufacturers, re-fillers, vendors to hospitals – will have to update their oxygen stock position in every two hours. The information that needs to be provided include real-time update on oxygen stock, consumption, and details on departures from plants, arrival in Delhi, etc,” Kejriwal said in a video press briefing on Sunday.

The chief minister’s comments came a day after the Delhi High Court expressed concerns over four hospitals in the city – including Jaipur Golden hospital, where an incident of oxygen shortage on Friday night led to death of 20 critical Covid-19 patients earlier in the day – complaining that there was nobody to coordinate with them on supplies of oxygen and essential medicines.

The Delhi government informed the court on Saturday that they had constituted a team of officers to coordinate with hospitals, but they were not getting information about the quantity of oxygen supplied from suppliers and re-fillers, following which the court directed the suppliers and re-fillers to give all such information to the city government.

As he extended the ongoing lockdown in Delhi by a week, Kejriwal also said on Sunday, “Delhi is facing a severe shortage of oxygen. We need 700 MT of oxygen every day but the city’s current quota – after recent increase – is 490 MT. Secondly, even the amount allocated to us by the central government is not reaching us. Yesterday, (Saturday) we received only 335 MT. The central government has been helping a lot in this regard. I have also written to CMs in other states to help us.”

Government records showed that Delhi recorded receiving 380 MT oxygen on April 22, 309 MT on April 23, 335 MT on April 24. The data for Sunday was yet to be summarised, said a senior official in the CM’s office.

On several occasions last week, Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia alleged that states such as Haryana and Uttar Pradesh were obstructing oxygen tankers headed for Delhi and sought the help of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard.

Later, on Sunday, Kejriwal’s office released a press statement that said, “Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday wrote to the most prominent industrialists of India, seeking their help in combating the ferocious second Covid-19 wave in the country. CM Kejriwal said that he would be grateful if the leading industrialists, involved in using or producing oxygen and can help with transporting oxygen in cryogenic tankers, come to Delhi’s assistance in its time of need. He wrote that due to an unprecedented rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in Delhi, it was falling woefully short of our oxygen requirements and asked for this request to be treated as an SOS. He wrote that Delhi did not produce any oxygen, and currently faces an acute shortage of oxygen.

“I understand that your organisation either uses, produces or can come in possession of oxygen. I would be grateful if you could provide us any stocks of oxygen, along with cryogenic tankers for its movement. We would also welcome any help in import of cryogenic oxygen tankers from any other country. Kindly treat this as an SOS. I would be personally grateful for your support,” read the statement citing Kejriwal’s appeal, even though the government did not specify who are the industrialists the chief minister has reached out to.

HT has learnt that the CM has written to Ratan Tata, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Rahul Bajaj, Mukesh Ambani, and Anand Mahindra.

The Delhi government on Sunday also issued an order appointing senior officers and allotting them hospitals in which they will personally keep track of oxygen consumption, arrivals, re-fills, and stocks on a real-time basis. These officers will now act as point of contact between the hospitals and the Delhi Disaster Management Authority’s control room for distress call regarding oxygen shortage. The officers are also directed to “acquaint themselves with the oxygen suppliers of their allotted hospitals and create a channel with them to follow up and facilitate oxygen deliveries and allotted quantities by directly interacting with their representatives,” said the order, a copy of which HT has seen.

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