India oxygen crisis: Police bust operator for hoarding, selling 48 cylinders at hefty prices
Some operators are causing panic in the local market, claiming there is an acute shortage of oxygen, and then selling the cylinders on the black.
Delhi Police seized 48 cylinders of oxygen, including 32 large ones (each with a capacity of 67 litres), from the home of an operator who was selling them at hefty premiums. The man was later arrested.
Anil Kumar, 51, who claimed he was in the industrial oxygen trade, had stocked the cylinders at his home and was selling the small ones (10-litre capacity) for Rs12,500 each. He used to transfer oxygen from the bigger ones into the smaller cylinders. Tipped off about the racket, the police raided his home. Anil, however, could not produce a licence.
The police plan to search his warehouse in another part of Delhi. The cylinders that were recovered from his home will be distributed to the poor and needy, which are on the basis of a court order.
About two days ago, the Kanpur police recovered 51 cylinders of oxygen from a gas agency operator, who was also illegally selling them at massive premiums. According to the police, some shady operators are causing panic in the local market, claiming there is an acute shortage of oxygen, and then selling the cylinders on the black.
The shortage of oxygen at hospitals in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and other states has resulted in a surge in demand. Some hospitals are refusing to take in Covid-19 patients because of their inability to access oxygen.
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