Praising the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) or BrihanMumbai Municipal Corp (BMC) for effective handling of oxygen supply to city hospitals amidst the second wave of COVID, the Supreme Court on Wednesday advised the Union government to take a cue from BMC in managing oxygen supply.
Justice DY Chandrachud says, "From what we see in the media, BMC has done some remarkable work. We are not disrespecting Delhi but we can maybe see what was done by BMC.
"Maharashtra is also an oxygen supply state. If the health secretary of Delhi government and the Centre hold a meeting with Iqbal Singh Chahal, the municipal commissioner of BMC and draw from their experience, they can evolve a plan to create storage tanks and install them for Delhi."
The bench of justice Chandrachud and justice MR Shah also observed that the judges of the apex court are also based in Delhi, and they can imagine what the citizens of the capital are going through due to shortage of medical oxygen.
"Lawyers are crying, they are requesting us to step in. You know private citizens well as our friendships are limited...We are helpless and have been on phone. We can imagine what citizens are going through," justice Chandrachud says.
Later, SC stayed the contempt notice issued by the Delhi High Court against Central government officers for failing to comply with the direction to ensure 700 metric tonnes (MT) supply of oxygen to COVID hospitals in the national capital.
The bench says, "We direct that by 10.30am Thursday, the centre shall place a comprehensive plan in the form of a chart, indicating the manner in which the direction for allocation of 700MT shall be complied with."
The Centre had moved the apex court against an order passed by the Delhi High Court mulling contempt action against the Centre and state officials for not supplying 700MT oxygen to Delhi as per the Supreme Court order.
The Centre submitted before the SC that it has provided 550MT oxygen to Delhi. However, the bench reiterated that it must provide 700MT even if it takes the point made by the Centre that it is way beyond the requirement of oxygen for the number of patients.
The apex court emphasised that the pandemic in Delhi is at a very critical stage and asked the Centre to inform by evening how 700MT oxygen supply is maintained daily for the next four days.
The bench emphasised that it would review its direction to supply 700MT of oxygen to Delhi on Monday. It further added that for the next four days the Centre must ensure that a daily supply of 700MT oxygen is made.