The Supreme Court on Wednesday suggested the adoption of the Mumbai model for Delhi to manage the issue of liquid medical oxygen supply for COVID-19 patients.
The Supreme Court observed that the Mumbai corporation did well to manage the oxygen situation, and asked if the model can be replicated in Delhi.
“Draw from the experience of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai; they are doing some great work”, observed a bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by the Central Government against the show-cause notice issued by the Delhi High Court for contempt action for failing to supply 700 MT of oxygen per day to the National Capital Territory of Delhi in terms of the Court orders.
During the hearing, a Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah suggested the model adopted by the Bombay Municipal Corporation to be emulated to tackle the issue of oxygen shortage in Delhi.
“There is wealth of information coming in every day. Bombay Municipal Corporation is doing some great work, with no disrespect to the Delhi. What they are doing, how they are managing. We can learn from them. I also understand that Maharashtra also produces oxygen which Delhi cannot do”, remarked Justice Chandrachud.
Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta agreed with the Judge and stated, “I do applaud the Mumbai model. It is not a political model. As an officer of the Court, not for Centre or State, we need to find a solution. People cannot run from pillar to post. This is not to undermine efforts of Delhi”.
The SG continued that the cases in Mumbai were also receding, and that despite similar caseloads, the oxygen consumption in Mumbai was lesser. Mumbai managed with 275 MT of oxygen even when the active cases had crossed 92,000. The SG said that Bombay was requested to send a model so that other States could emulate the same.
Justice Chandrachud also noted that buffer stocks of oxygen had to be created for emergency purposes. He further suggested that the Chief Secretaries and Health Secretaries of both the Delhi Government and the Central Government should have a discussion with the Commissioner of Mumbai Corporation to draw from Mumbai’s experiences.
“If this can be done in Mumbai, which is an incredibly congested city, then it can be done in Delhi as well. If both the Chief Secretary and Health Secretary of Delhi and Centre could converse with BMC commissioner and the additional commissioner, if you can draw from that experience, how you can create storage tanks, and buffer storage etc, if you can do that between today and Monday, we will get a plan in place for Delhi on the Bombay model, we will have a fairly successful model in a global metropolis in Delhi” observed Justice Chandrachud.
“We want to analyze what was done in a large metropolis like Mumbai and how it can be emulated, as we are answerable to citizens of Delhi”, the Judge added.
In the Order passed after the hearing, the Bench noted:
“There has been a consensus that a team of officers from the GNCTD and the Centre will engage within next three days with the officials and medical experts of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and derive some learning from the modalities which were followed in augmenting oxygen supply. Based on those shared experiences, steps can be taken, for replicating the administrative arrangements in Mumbai in Delhi”.
The Supreme Court stayed the contempt show-cause notice issued by the Delhi High Court to Centre and asked it to submit a plan before it tomorrow for increasing the daily oxygen supply to Delhi as 700 MT.