New Delhi: A report by the Supreme Court-appointed Oxygen Audit Committee about Delhi exaggerating its oxygen requirement by four times during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a war of words between the AAP and the NDA government at the Centre.
While AAP has said that no such report exists, the ruling BJP has accused the Delhi government of ''playing politics'' over such a sensitive issue.
Addressing a press conference in the national capital, BJP MP and its national spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “It is unbelievable to see that Arvind Kejriwal and Delhi government politicised oxygen supply when COVID was at its peak.’’
“This is such petty politics. The data presented by Oxygen Audit Committee in the report is shocking,’ the BJP leader said.
Patra’s remarks came shortly after Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia categorically denied the existence of any report by the Supreme Court-appointed Oxygen Audit Committee about Delhi exaggerating its oxygen requirement by four times during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At an online press briefing, he accused the BJP of lying about such a report. "There is no such report. We have spoken to the members of the Oxygen Audit Committee formed by the Supreme Court. They said they have not signed or approved any such report.
"The BJP is presenting a false report that it prepared at its party headquarters. I challenge them to present such a report which has signatures of the members of the oxygen audit committee," Sisodia said.
By doing this, the BJP is not abusing Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, but "those who lost their family members due to oxygen shortage when coronavirus cases were at its peak, he said and accused the Union government of mismanagement "which led to the oxygen crisis".
Delhi government exaggerated the oxygen requirement for the city by more than four times between April 25 and May 10 during the second wave of COVID-19, a Supreme Court-appointed audit panel has said in its interim audit report that emerged on Friday.
"The Delhi government's claim of 1,140 Metric Tonnes of Oxygen was four times the calculated consumption as per bed formula, which was 289 MT only," an interim audit report said.
Delhi government exaggerated the oxygen requirement for the city by more than four times between April 25 & May 10. Supply of excess oxygen to Delhi could have triggered a crisis in its supply to 12 high caseload states, as per the report
The report further stated that the supply of excess oxygen to Delhi could have triggered a crisis in its supply to 12 high COVID caseload states. The interim audit report also named four Delhi hospitals - Singhal Hospital, Aruna Asif Ali Hospital, ESIC Model Hospital and Liferay Hospital – that claimed high consumption of oxygen during that period.
The report said that these 4 hospitals had claimed, "extremely high oxygen consumption with few beds and claims appeared to be erroneous, leading to extremely skewed info and significantly higher oxygen requirement."
Delhi was hit severely by a brutal second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in April and May, claiming a massive number of lives daily, with a shortage in oxygen supply at various city hospitals adding to the woes.