Coronavirus outbreak: Construction work continues as usual in Panvel despite lockdown orders

Updated: 22 March, 2020 07:46 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon | Mumbai

Local ward officer claims they didn't have clarity from higher-ups.

Construction work going on at a site in Kharghar
Construction work going on at a site in Kharghar

Even as the number of corona cases in Maharashtra went up to 63 on Saturday, rampant construction work continued in various parts of Panvel.

Mangal Kamble, president of NGO Swach Kharghar Foundation, said that despite government directives asking all establishments to remain shut or implement "work from home", the local ward officer of the Panvel Municipal Corporation was risking "basic safety measures" by allowing construction work to go on.

Kamble said, "We have already taken photographs of the construction sites where work was on until Saturday afternoon. I will be personally taking up the issue with the Panvel municipal commissioner and the local police. The developers and builders should follow the rules strictly. The government should even stop public transport to prevent the pandemic from getting into stage 3."

Colonel VP Singh, president of Sector 19 Residents Association and ALM, said, "All construction activities in and around our areas should be immediately stopped in the larger interest of the public. Also, the construction work at Sector 19 falls within the silence zone [there is a school in the proximity]. The developer should follow the guidelines stringently, so that air, dust and noise pollution can be kept under check. Our ALM will be approaching the authorities to ensure that the lockdown is followed strictly."

When contacted, Sriram Hajare, municipal ward officer, Kharghar, admitted construction work was on at three locations—Sector 7, 19 and 20—in Kharghar. "But there were less than 50 per cent workers at these sites."

While construction work doesn't fall under the ambit of essential service, Hajare said that he was still to get "clarity from the higher-ups" on whether work should be stopped.

Ganesh Deshmukh, municipal commissioner, PMC, said, "I have already directed the local ward officer to ensure that there is complete lockdown. No construction work will be allowed until situation is under control."

Kharghar has not reported any positive case for COVID 19 yet. However, around 10 to 15 suspects have been quarantined.

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First Published: 22 March, 2020 05:34 IST

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