‘Officials are begging for oxygen supply but Ministers in denial mode’
Chamarajanagar: Chamarajanagar former MP and KPCC Working President R. Dhruvanarayan has claimed that he had alerted the District Administration about the impending oxygen crisis on Saturday. “We have been alerting the district authorities about the shortage of oxygen but they didn’t take our suggestions seriously. Mysuru administration is also to be blamed as they asked a few oxygen suppliers not to supply oxygen to Chamarajanagar Hospitals,” he said.
“As soon as I learnt from officials in Chamarajanagar that Mysuru was not in a position to spare oxygen and a crisis would arise, I called DC Dr. Ravi to enquire the status and future measures. However, the DC assured me that all necessary steps were being taken to supply oxygen,” Dhruvanarayan said.
“I had also called District Minister Suresh Kumar, who assured intervention but sadly 24 lives have been lost. The blame lies squarely at the doorstep of the State Government. I met the DC who expressed helplessness over his pleas for oxygen cylinders being ignored. Officials are begging for oxygen cylinders every day but the Government is not serious about replenishing supplies. The situation is so grim that the District authorities have not even been able to keep a stock for 3 to 4 days,” he said, demanding the resignation of Health Minister Dr. K. Sudhakar.
Judicial probe demanded
Leader of the Opposition Siddharamaiah has demanded a judicial inquiry into the tragedy. “This is murder committed by the Government. These deaths were totally preventable if only the hospital had enough oxygen supply. Chamarajanagar needs 300 cylinders of oxygen a day. There had been a shortage since Friday. But the district administration did not take adequate measures to maintain the oxygen stock. It is the total negligence of the State Government and irresponsible behaviour of the officers that are responsible for the deaths,” said Siddharamaiah, adding that the Government should order an independent inquiry into the tragedy.
Siddharamaiah tweeted, “Series of SOS calls are being received due to lack of oxygen in various hospitals of our State. We don’t want to see another Chamarajanagar Hospital incident. Every life is precious. To prevent further State-sponsored murders, I call for #ResignBSY & #ResignSudhakar.”
The probe by IAS Officer and KSRTC Managing Director Shivayogi Kalasad would not bring out real facts and provide justice to families, he said and demanded compensation of Rs. 25 lakh each to the families for the loss of lives. Officials who were responsible for the deaths should be suspended, he demanded.
Mysuru DC responsible: MLC
Meanwhile, JD(S) MLC Marithibbegowda alleged that Mysuru DC Rohini Sindhuri was responsible for the death of 24 people in Chamarajanagar. The Government must suspend the DC and conduct a judicial inquiry, he said. “Sindhuri had denied oxygen cylinders to Chamarajanagar on May 2 and the matter came to my notice at 11 am. Soon, I approached Karnataka COVID-19 Nodal Officers Gunjan Krishna and Nishchith. I explained the situation in Chamarajanagar and asked them to direct the DC to send Oxygen to Chamarajanagar. But the officers claimed that the DC did not consider their direction. Even Chamarajanagar District Minister Suresh Kumar has expressed displeasure against Sindhuri,” he said. The MLC demanded the Government to release a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh each to the families of the victims.