Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, on Friday, said the Supreme Court oxygen audit committee's report on the oxygen crisis in the city doesn't exist.
He went on to call the matter "sub judice" and confidently denied the findings of the report, which state that the Delhi government sought four times more oxygen than what was required during the upsurge of the COVID-19 second wave last month. Sisodia even accused Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) of "making the report at the party headquarters."
"There is no such report. It doesn't exist. The BJP is lying. We spoke to the members of the oxygen audit committee. They said they haven't signed or approved the report," Manish Sisodia said during a virtual press conference on Friday.
"When they [members of the audit committee] haven't signed any report when they haven't approved the report, then from where has this report come? Where is this report?," he added.
Sisodia repeatedly said there was a real shortage of oxygen during the second peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and blamed the Centre of "mismanagement" at the time from its side. He further challenged the BJP to produce the report signed by the oxygen audit committee and claimed that party leaders presented a false 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 the signatures of the members of the oxygen audit committee," Sisodia said.
"We all know that when the pandemic was at its peak, there was a shortage of oxygen in Delhi" and that the center was responsible for the mismanagement of providing oxygen to states," he further stated.
"They [BJP leaders] made the audit report while sitting at the BJP headquarters and then they called it the oxygen audit report," Sisodia added.
"By doing this, they [BJP leaders] are not abusing [Delhi Chief Minister] Arvind Kejriwal but all those who lost their loved ones during the pandemic due to the Centre's mismanagement of oxygen supply," he noted.
"Were the relatives who were running for oxygen from door-door lying at the time. Were the doctors lying when they said there was a shortage? Were the hospitals lying? They all went to court, were they all lying? The truth is the BJP and its top leaders are lying," Sisodia said.
Delhi was one of the worst-hit territories during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which claimed thousands of lives daily and was struggling through a heavy shortage of oxygen supply at various city hospitals.
After woeful cries for oxygen across Delhi hospitals on social media made headlines, SC Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah set up a 12-member task force and sought an audit report from the panel on the oxygen distribution system.
According to the committee's audit report, at that time the Delhi government demanded 1,200 metric tonnes of oxygen while it only needed 300 metric tonnes. And due to Delhi's excessive demand, a severe shortage of life-saving oxygen was faced by 12 other states as the oxygen allotted to them was diverted to Delhi.
The task force added that Delhi's oxygen consumption between April 29 and May 10 needs to be "corrected" because of "gross error in reporting by some hospitals". The Delhi government showcased that the actual consumption reported by hospitals was 1140 MT. Following the correction of the error, the oxygen requirement fell to 209 MT.(Edited by Purnima Priyadarsini)
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