New Delhi: Supreme Court's oxygen audit team submitted its report and stated that the Delhi government exaggerated its oxygen requirement by four times at the peak of COVID-19's second wave.
The panel, led by AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria, included Delhi Government Principal Home Secretary Bhupinder Bhalla, Max Healthcare Director Dr Sandeep Buddhiraja and Union Jal Shakti Ministry Joint Secretary Subodh Yadav.
"The Delhi government exaggerated the oxygen requirement for the city by more than four times during the April 25-May 10 period, at the peak of the second COVID wave," the report said, adding that supply of excess oxygen to Delhi could have triggered a crisis in its supply to 12 states with the high caseload.
"There was a gross discrepancy (about four times) in the actual oxygen consumption claimed by the Delhi government (1,140MT) as it was about four times higher than the calculated consumption as per the formula based on bed capacity (289 MT)," said an interim report of the oxygen audit panel appointed by the Supreme Court.
The average consumption of oxygen in Delhi was between 284 to 372 MT, said the report, and added that "the excess supply of oxygen affected other states in need of oxygen".
It further stated that four Delhi hospitals claimed high consumption of oxygen with fewer beds.
The report said that the Singhal Hospital, Aruna Asif Ali Hospital, ESIC Model Hospital and Liferay Hospital had "claimed extremely high oxygen consumption with a very few beds and the claims appeared to be erroneous, leading to extremely skewed information and significantly higher oxygen requirement of the entire state of Delhi".
The Petroleum and Oxygen Safety Organization (PESO) told the sub-group that Delhi had surplus oxygen, which was affecting liquid medical oxygen (LMO) supply to other states and apprehended that if excess oxygen was kept supplied to Delhi, it could lead to a national crisis.
It said that the data from the Delhi government showed the consumption of oxygen did not exceed 350 MT from April 29 to May 10.
On May 5, the Supreme Court, on the Delhi government's request about oxygen shortage in the national capital, had directed the Central government to maintain a supply of 700 MT of oxygen to the national capital.