Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai in a press statement on Wednesday (2 June 2021) bizarrely linked the shortage of oxygen supplies in hospitals to tree plantation. As reported by The Indian Express, Gopal Rai said that the only permanent solution to this oxygen shortage problem is to plant trees on a large scale.
Within the last two weeks of April as well as the first two weeks of May, Delhi saw a shortage of medical oxygen supply as Covid-19 cases drastically shot up in the city. The Delhi Environment Minister said,
“Delhi saw an oxygen shortage during the Covid-19 pandemic and the government made efforts to bridge the gap and they were successful. Covid-19 cases are decreasing on a daily basis but there is only one way to reach a permanent solution for this oxygen problem and that is to plant trees on a large scale.”
Source: The Indian Express
Furthermore, Gopal Rai said that starting 5 June, a plantation drive for the coming years will be started whereby the city will be planting 3.3 million trees by the end of this year alone. These include big trees as well as shrubs alongside roads to curb dust pollution.
The Environment Minister also said that nurseries in Delhi will also distribute plants for free in order to curb oxygen shortage. These will also include plants in which Gopal Rai claims to have ‘immunity boosting’ powers.