PAC not convinced with dept. reply on oxygen crisis

People waiting outside an oxygen production unit at Peenya Industrial Area in Bengaluru. File Photo   | Photo Credit: Murali Kumar K

Although Karnataka’s oxygen crisis and shortage of ICU beds with ventilators during the peak of second wave had made national news, Health Department officials in their response to the Public Accounts Committee denied any such crisis. The committee, which discussed this issue at its meeting on Tuesday, has unanimously dismissed the department’s claims. According to the proceedings of the committee’s meeting, the officials’ claim that oxygen and ICU ventilator beds were “available as per need” in all government hospitals was not acceptable.

“The committee members cutting across party lines were not convinced with this as they have seen people suffer in their constituencies during the second wave. We have rejected all these replies of the officials and have asked the department to submit correct and detailed explanation,” said Ramalinga Reddy, PAC Chairman, speaking to The Hindu.

Members, who participated in the meeting, discussed what they had witnessed in their own constituencies during the second wave, with many running from pillar to post to acquire oxygenated and ventilator beds for their near and dear ones who were infected, said Mr. Reddy.


One of the worst tragedies during the second wave was the death of 24 people, allegedly due to shortage of oxygen in Chamarajnagar district on May 2 and 3. A report submitted by a committee consisting of two retired judges of the High Court had blamed the administration, hospital authorities for oxygen shortage that led to the crisis. It had also said that a detailed probe is essential to unearth omissions and commissions that had led to the human tragedy.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 9:13:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/pac-not-convinced-with-dept-reply-on-oxygen-crisis/article35988506.ece

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