LUCKNOW: It would be a “despicable and criminal” act if the cause for death of a total of 70 patients in Gorakhpur Baba Raghav Das Medical College was disruption in oxygen supply, said Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Several questions have been raised on the undue delay by authorities in releasing funds to clear pending bills of the firm supplying oxygen despite repeated reminders, both by the owner of the firm and the principal of the medical college.
Adityanath, who visited the Medical College on Sunday along with Union Health Minister JP Nadda and State Chief Secretary Rajiv Kumar, claimed he was kept in the dark about the oxygen shortage during his visit on August 9, just ahead of the crisis that claimed 30 lives in 36 hours.
The Chief Minister blamed the college principal RK Mishra for not raising the issue of supply shortage despite being asked repeatedly about the assistance needed to tackle. Mishra was suspended by Medical Education Minister Ashutosh Tandon for negligence on Saturday.
However, sources tell Express there has been a “major lapse” in release of funds by the authorities sitting back in Lucknow. It’s established through repeated correspondence between the gas supplier Pushpa Sales Company, Principal RK Mishra and authorities in medical education department (including Director General Medical Education) that they were alerted a number of times to release the funds for payment of bills. But no positive response or action came through.
“The principal is believed to have written at least three letters – two in July and the last on August 1 – to the government,” added sources. “He is also believed to have raised the issue during a video conference with senior officials at Lucknow. But the funds were released only on August 5.” The payment, however, was made to the supplier only on August 11 — six days after it came.