Coronavirus outbreak: BMC seals buildings next to patients' residences
Civic body faces flak for doing this despite SOP stating no need to close other structures
Though the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for containment zones mentions that the building where a positive case of COVID-19 is reported should be sealed, and there is no need to close other structures on in the premises, ward officers are sealing such buildings, too.
This is being done even if they are not in the same compound. The BMC is under pressure to stop the transmission of COVID-19, but the procedure of sealing buildings is putting pressure on residents as well.
So far more than 250 areas across the city have been declared as containment zones. The first one was Worli Koliwada. But residents expressed dissatisfaction with the sealing arrangement and so the BMC came up with the SOP for the containment zones.
'Not getting provisions'
Some Malabar Hill residents have complained that the BMC has clubbed buildings which don't even share the same premises, and have locked them inside without any access to essential services. "The BMC has sealed our buildings for the past four days. One positive case was reported in Simla House. Our Malabar Apartment is on the opposite side of the road but the BMC sealed it saying our security guards might go to Simla," said Kalpana Sharma, joint secretary of Malabar Apartment which has 126 flats.
Meherina building on the right of the Simla house is also in the containment zone. There are around 70 houses in its three wings. "BMC officials have to clarify what the rules are and for how long we will be locked up. We are not getting provisions," said a resident of Malabar Apartment.
Prashant Gaikwad, assistant commissioner of D ward was unavailable for comment despite calls and a message.
In Dadar, the BMC sealed two buildings, Soubhagya and Mangalya, near Portuguese Church after one positive case was reported in Soubhagya. "We sealed both buildings as they are on the same premises and share a gate," said Kiran Dighavkar, Assistant commissioner of G North ward. "The buildings are separated by a narrow pathway, so it is safe to seal both. But there are issues of essential services," said Prakash Patankar, former corporator.
"BMC should grant us limited access so that people can arrange for groceries and medicines," said Brahmesh Sanzgiri, a resident of Mangalya building.
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe