Cornering the cat and the Delhi disaster

The Delhi government is solely responsible for the mess it has created in treatment of covid patients including the supply of oxygen.

Prof H C Pande

The death toll continues to mount across the country and everyone is up in arms, accusing everyone else of poor planning, worse execution and downright irresponsibility. True, there are many to be blamed, but, one has to start somewhere and pick up a specific case in order that the blame game ends in a finite time span and at least some of the guilty pay for their sins. Often enough, commissions of enquiry set up to investigate national catastrophes have served no purpose. The commissions, in their enthusiasm for thoroughness of the inquiry, by dotting every I and crossing every T, enlarge the scope to such an extent that their report, whenever it comes out, if at all, is more like a discourse on ethics & philosophy, or, an essay on management, than a report of criminal investigation. It is well past time that we focus on who did it and what we should do to them. In human tragedies of such proportions generalizing the blame would be only adding to the tragedy. For once, let us not just blame the system, but, point out the failed component as well, and, scrap it. The cat has to be cornered.
The Delhi disaster is the result of the Covid activity and the state government inactivity, The responsibility for the casualties is fifty-fifty. Clearly, this case comes within the ambit of the genetic code and the penal code. There is no point in blaming the viruses because that is their job, and, in any case, virologists all over the world have nearly cornered all, and, have already collared some. This leaves the state government, as the master crook, within the purview of the penal code. People elect a government for good governance, and, for the sake of democracy, would even accept an indifferent government. But here is a government which seemingly does not believe in any kind of governance at all. For every problem they blame the Central government, and, yet, for every solution they look up to it. With this mind-set, precious little remains for governance. Beggers can not be kings.
Coming to the specifics, here is the charge-sheet:
1. Oxygen plants,7 out of 8, were not set up though sanctioned.
2. Arrangements were not made to lift the allotted Oxygen quota.
3. The transport company, Jaipur Golden , could deliver oxygen only to 17
Delhi hospitals although as per agreement it was supplying to 45 earlier. The state
government had ordered Inox, the gas supplier, to cut back 28 customers out of 45.
4. False affidavit was submitted to the Delhi H.C. stating that only 2500 vials of
Remdesivir were received when in fact 50,0000 vials were supplied.
5.G.O.was issued stating that as desired by the Hon’ble H.C. arrangements be made
for quarantining the Judges of the High Court and the Judicial service members in
a five star hotel, when no such request had been made.
6.. Funds were diverted to purposes other than those sanctioned.
In the light of the above one can conclude that:
A. In view of the obvious and universally recognized danger posed by the developing. Covid wave, the inaction of the government is not negligence but is deliberate.
The oxygen shortage in the hospitals was due to intentional inaction of the state
. government, resulting in serious loss of life. This is a case of mass homicide.
B.. False affidavit. This is clear perjury.
C.G.O. This is an attempt to influence the judiciary.
D. Diversion of funds. This is serious financial irregularity.
This is an open and shut case which should be over in one hearing, complete with the
award of punishment. The matter is straight forward, but, no political party is likely to cast the first stone and put their own glass houses in danger. Would the citizen of Delhi arise and bell the cat?
(Prof. H C Pande is Vice Chancellor Emeritus , BITS, Mesra)

Share via