State govt responsible for tankers: Gambhir slams Kejriwal over oxygen crisis
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker Gautam Gambhir on Monday sharpened his attack on Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal over the ongoing shortage of oxygen supply in the national capital. Gautam Gambhir said that the state government is responsible for the oxygen tankers while the Centre’s job is to make the gas available. The Delhi government earlier claimed the major reason for the oxygen crisis was the obstruction of tankers from the neighbouring states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
Gambhir also alleged on Sunday that eight oxygen plants were supposed to be set up in Delhi but only one has been installed by the Aam Aadmi Party-led (AAP) government till now. “Whose responsibility is this? Is this the responsibility of the BJP? Despite getting funds from the PM Cares Fund for setting up oxygen plants, you (the Delhi government) should have installed eight of them. But you have managed to install only one. And now you’re saying there is a shortage of oxygen,” Gambhir was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
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The BJP leader and former cricketer announced on Sunday that his foundation—the Gautam Gambhir Foundation—will distribute oxygen cylinders and the antiviral drug Fabiflu to the Covid-19 disease patients across Delhi. They were only being distributed in his East Delhi constituency before that. According to PTI, those in need of cylinders and the anti-viral drug from Gambhir’s foundation will have to submit a doctor’s prescription and their Aadhaar number.
As several hospitals in Delhi have been facing issues in getting oxygen supplies on time for the past one week due to which patients have died, Kejriwal said on Sunday that out of the total requirement of 700 tonnes, the Centre has only given 490 tonnes to the Capital. He also said he has also written to chief ministers of other states to help Delhi. After Kejriwal’s appeal, the railways ministry said on Sunday an Oxygen Express from Chhattisgarh carrying four cryogenics tankers carrying Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) will soon reach Delhi Cantonment railway station on Monday night.
Delhi on Sunday saw a slight fall in its daily Covid-19 tally after 22,933 cases were reported in the last 24 hours and 350 more people died. The caseload has climbed to 1,027,715 including 14,248 deaths and there have been nearly 919,000 recoveries and 94,592 active cases. The six-day-long lockdown which was supposed to end on Monday has now been extended to another week till 5am on May 3.