New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Thursday (May 20) warned the authorities that they should not take lightly the dip in COVID-19 cases in the national capital as there is a likelihood that the virus would again raise its ugly head and hit the citizens badly and reminded them about their responsibility to create a buffer stock of liquid medical oxygen (LMO).
The high court said it is the duty of the Centre and Delhi government to ensure that they are again not caught underprepared to deal with the situation.
“If you have not taken steps, we will come and chase you again. We are telling you, we mean business. Please don’t take it lightly we are again warning you,” a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh told the Centre.
While the high court was told by the Delhi government counsel that it has created a buffer stock of 419 Metric Tonnes (MT) of LMO at different locations here and they are making arrangements for creating further stock in next 10 days, it noted that the Centre has not disclosed in the status report as to what steps it has taken to fulfill its obligation in terms of the Supreme Court’s order.
“This is a temporary phase. We know it is going to come back and hit us badly. We may remind both the Central and Delhi government that the responsibility to set up buffer stock has been cast upon primarily on the Centre and also on Delhi government by the Supreme Court vide its April 30 order,” the bench, which heard the matter relating to various COVID-19 issues for over five hours, said.
Besides Supreme Court, the high court had on May 4, directed the Centre and Delhi government to create buffer stock of 100 MT of LMO.
The bench said, “We would once again like to emphasise that mere reduction in the number of cases of COVID-19 be not taken lightly and there is a likelihood of this virus again raising its ugly head and hitting people of Delhi, may be even harder as it is projected by scientists. So it is the duty of the Centre and Delhi government to ensure that they are again not caught underprepared to deal with the situation.”
The high court asked the Centre to file a specific report with regard to steps taken to create buffer stock positively by May 24.
The Centre’s counsel assured the court that they are not taking it lightly and are taking steps to create the buffer stock of LMO.