The Delhi High Court on Tuesday suggested some reduction in steel and petroleum production to divert oxygen to COVID-19 patients and said that economic interests can not override human lives.
“If the lockdown continues, then everything would come to a halt and therefore, what would be the need for steel, petrol and diesel during such a situation?” the bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli asked.
The court also asked the Centre why it was waiting till April 22 to ban industrial use of oxygen.
“Shortage is now. You have to do it (ban) now. Look into taking some oxygen from steel and petroleum industries. They have big pockets and big lobbies, but tell them if they have to cut production, then they can cut production. Lives have to be saved,” the bench said.
Court said if nothing was done, then “we are heading for a bigger disaster.”
“We might end up losing nearly a crore of people. Are we willing to accept that,” judges asked.
The observations by the court came after perusing the Centre’s affidavit which said there was presently no gap in oxygen supply to Delhi and that industrial use of oxygen was banned with effect from April 22.