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As states spar, Centre says no restriction on inter-state movement of Oxygen

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Delhi Oxygen Haryana Uttar PradeshDelhi Oxygen Haryana Uttar PradeshThe orders assume significance as the Delhi High Court today noted that the Centre’s allocation of oxygen for Delhi was not being respected by the local administration in UP and Haryana. (PTI)

The central government today clarified that there is no restriction on the inter-state movement of vehicles carrying oxygen. The Centre’s clarification came a day after the Delhi High Court came down hard on the government for the oxygen crisis in the national capital. The Delhi government and hospitals had approached the High Court accusing Haryana and Uttar Pradesh of not allowing the supply of oxygen to the national capital. The hospitals had also raised a red-flag, saying they only had oxygen left “for a few more hours”. The Centre had assured the Delhi High Court of unobstructed passage of oxygen tankers to Delhi from other states.

“No restrictions shall be imposed on the movement of Medical Oxygen between the States and transport authorities shall be instructed to accordingly free inter-state movement of oxygen-carrying vehicles,” an order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs read.

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It also said that there shall be free movement of oxygen-carrying vehicles into the cities, without any restriction of timings, while also enabling inter-city supply without any restriction.

The order also noted that no restriction shall be imposed on oxygen manufacturers. “No restrictions shall be imposed on oxygen manufacturers and suppliers to limit the oxygen supplies only to hospitals of the state or Union Territory in which they are located,” it said.

The order asked the states/UTs to strictly abide by the supply plan of medical oxygen prepared by Centre’s Empowered Group-II and that the District Magistrates/Deputy Commissioners and Senior Superintendent of Police/Superintendent of Police/Deputy Commissioners of Police will be personally liable for the implementation of the restriction-free oxygen supply.

The orders assume significance as the Delhi High Court today noted that the Centre’s allocation of oxygen for Delhi from plants in other states like Haryana was not being respected by the local administration and asked the Centre to resolve the issue immediately. The Delhi Government has contended in the court that oxygen that was to come from Panipat in Haryana was not being allowed to be picked up by the local police there. The Delhi government also told the court that oxygen which was to be picked up from some units in Uttar Pradesh could also not be lifted from there.

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