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DNA Explainer: Closer look at issues raised in 163-page interim report on Delhi oxygen demand

The report also noted that Delhi's infrastructure was inadequate for storing 700 MT, the amount that the SC had ordered the Centre to supply to Delhi.

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DNA Explainer: Closer look at issues raised in 163-page interim report on Delhi oxygen demand
(Image Source: Reuters)
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The Supreme Court-appointed audit panel in a report on Friday before the apex court said that the Delhi government exaggerated its oxygen requirement by four times in April and May during the peak of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report also noted that Delhi's infrastructure was inadequate for storing 700 MT, the amount that the Supreme Court had ordered the Centre to supply to Delhi. 

The interim report said that Delhi exaggerated its oxygen needs at the peak of the second wave and the supply of excess oxygen affected other states. The affidavit was filed on June 22 through the Health Ministry Joint Secretary. An interim report of the court-appointed Task Force on Oxygen Audit was also attached with the affidavit.

Based on the report, the Centre said that the Delhi government used the wrong formula to calculate its oxygen needs and made exaggerated claims in court on April 30. The Centre has submitted the interim report to the Supreme Court along with the recommendations of a National Task Force on oxygen. 

Reacting to the charge, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia dismissed the existence of any such report by the oxygen audit committee and accused the BJP of lying about it.

Today we take a closer look at the 163-page 'interim report', part of an affidavit filed by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in the Supreme Court on June 22. The report has flagged several issues, as reported by India Today.

Issues raised

Task Force on May 13 found four times the 'actual consumption of oxygen' in comparison with bed capacity, leading to higher demand being made by Delhi.

Even though the peak of the pandemic in Delhi was on May 2, data available to the committee is from May 10. Data from April 29 'will be made available', as per the report.

A discrepancy was found in data uploaded on the Delhi government's portal from the start because of a poor understanding of demand calculation by end-users.

Some hospitals could not differentiate between KL (kilolitres) and MT (metric tonne) and this was not examined while projecting a requirement of 700 MT of oxygen.

Data from some big hospitals, cylinders available with smaller hospitals and stock of refilling stations are 'missing'.

The calculation formula used by the Delhi government is different from the formula recommended by the Centre. 

Tanker-based oxygen supplies were erratic.

The reliability of data is low because of errors in calculation.

Delhi was unable to transport, offload and store oxygen. Part of the Oxygen supplied was being stored as a reserve. 

As of May 13, the daily requirement of oxygen in Delhi was 290-400 MT per day plus 100 MT in reserve for an emergency. On May 18, the Task Force recommended a total of 400 MT per day, with any excess to be diverted to other states.

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