While the Tamilnadu government made it clear that its oxygen stock will last only till Saturday, the Madras High court on Thursday appealed to the Union and the empowered committee to take immediate steps and ensure supply of the revised allocation of 475 tonnes of oxygen to the State by Friday.
The first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy made the appeal following submission by Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan that the State was currently managing with cylinders kept as reserve and the stock could run out soon as the Centre had ignored TN in the revised allocation plan issued on May 5.
Based on this, the Chief Justice, on pointing out that in the present state, no directions may be issued, but only an appeal may be made so that there is broad equitable distribution of available resources, said, “The Union and the empowered committee should take immediate steps to ensure adequate supply of oxygen to Tamilnadu.”
“This must be ensured by tomorrow, so that the emergency that the officials speak of does not arise. It is critical and requires the attention of the highest offices so that lives are not lost for want of oxygen,” Banerjee stressed.
He also held, “No court of a State or no State can demand all facilities for itself to the exclusion of others; but there has to be an equitable distribution, reckoning the production capacity in a particular State and the position should not be altered to the detriment of a State, particularly since TN has a production capacity of about 400 MT per day, which with some additional supply, may suffice for its needs.”