Guwahati, June 25: Citing an RTI response, Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi on Friday claimed that there has been a "discernible inequity" in the allocation of ventilators to north-eastern states though they are witnessing a higher number of active coronavirus cases.
Gogoi wrote to Union Minister Harsh Vardhan requesting him to raise allocation of ventilators to 5,000 for Assam and 500 each for Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland as adequate support must be provided to states, especially in the northeast, to help them cope with the pandemic.
"There is discernible inequity in allocation of ventilators to states in the north-east, which needs to be remedied urgently," the letter read. The senior Congress leader pointed out that in reply to an RTI filed by him, he received state-wise data on the allocation, delivery, and installation of ventilators (as of June 22, 2021) and it was observed that there was "slanted treatment towards some states".
"On putting this data in perspective, and comparing it with state-wise data of active cases, a slanted treatment of states is observed. Assam recorded 32,975 active cases, approximately five per cent of the total active cases in the country, and it was allocated 1,000 ventilators whereas Uttar Pradesh with a total of 3,910 active cases, comprising 0.61 percent of the total active cases, was allocated the highest number of 6,316 ventilators," Gogoi said.
The second highest allocation of 6.200 ventilators was made to Gujarat despite the state recording 5,159 active cases, comprising 0.80 per cent of the total active cases of the country, the MP claimed. The states of Manipur (9,214), Meghalaya (4,273), and Mizoram (4,424) recorded a higher number of active cases, as compared to Bihar (2,811) and Jharkhand (1,417), but the allocation of ventilators is inversely proportional to the number of active cases in these states, he said.
Bihar and Jharkhand were allocated 500 and 1,960 ventilators respectively whereas Manipur was given 447, Meghalaya 86 and Mizoram 115, he claimed. "It is with great concern that I also note the gaping difference between delivered and installed ventilators in several states.
Uttar Pradesh is yet to install 1,067 of the delivered ventilators and such gaps lead to underutilisation of resources and potential shortage during a crisis", Gogoi said.