The Madhya Pradesh High Court has advised the State Government to offer green corridors for tankers transporting oxygen to ensure timely delivery to their intended destinations.
By: Sargam Vohra, BA LLB, IIMT
The Madhya Pradesh High Court has urged all state governments, as well as their respective police and transportation agencies, to provide green corridors for tankers transporting liquid medical oxygen that are travelling across state lines to ensure timely delivery of oxygen to their intended destinations.
A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Atul Sreedharan ordered, “This Court impresses upon all the State Governments and through them, their Police Authorities and the Transport Authorities, to provide green corridors to the Tankers carrying Liquid Medical Oxygen involving inter-state movement, at par with ambulances, so that the oxygen can be timely delivered at the respective destinations, to save the precious human lives in this crucial period.”
The observation was made when dealing with a suo motu writ petition and a slew of other petitions highlighting the state’s coronavirus situation and the state’s failure to fulfil its duties.
During the hearing, JK Jain, Assistant Solicitor General, informed the Bench that the Central Government had taken “serious note” of the incident in which an oxygen tanker carrying oxygen allocated to the state of Madhya Pradesh was intercepted and diverted to Jhansi by police officers from Uttar Pradesh.
The ASG also stated that the Central Government will ensure that such an incident does not occur again in the future, and told the Bench that the Union of India has issued a directive to all State Governments to ensure free movement of tankers carrying oxygen to their respective delivery destinations.
In addition, when it came to the issue of a lack of oxygen supply in the state, the Court noted that the situation on the ground was “totally different than what was portrayed by the State in Action report.”The Court also took note of media reports indicating multiple deaths as a result of a lack of oxygen supply, and observed that “Even the State has not made any serious effort to dispute the veracity of the alleged deaths of several persons in the hospitals due to non-availability of oxygen. Death of citizens, so large in number, is really heart-rending. It is a pity that people are dying in the hospitals due to lack of oxygen.”