Coronavirus outbreak: Mumbai to be zoned based on cases

Updated: Apr 15, 2020, 07:18 IST | Chetna Sadadekar | Mumbai

Those with highest number of cases will be categorised red, and even essential goods supply may be blocked, BMC will provide them

Residents in Jijamata Nagar, Worli, wait for groceries and other essentials supplied by authorities on Tuesday. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Residents in Jijamata Nagar, Worli, wait for groceries and other essentials supplied by authorities on Tuesday. Pic/Suresh Karkera

The BMC will soon come up with red and orange zones in the city to mark containment zones for stricter implementation of the lockdown. While the plans are still being drafted, areas with a high number of positive cases of COVID-19 will be put in the red zone and will have no external essential service providers.

The BMC will provide essential services here. Once the guidelines and list of red and orange zones is out, it will be clear where there is a need for complete and partial closure, when the essential services should be allowed etc. All this will be part of the detailed planning, revealed sources. "The most obvious areas such as Worli, Dharavi, Govandi and Bandra east where cases are on the rise and slums are affected, will be dealt with carefully," said an official. There were 308 cases till April 13 reported in G south which still remains the most affected part of the city. Affected areas in this ward such as Worli Koliwada, Janata Colony, BDD chawl etc are facing a complete closure of essential services for over two weeks now.

People step out to buy essentials in Dharavi on Tuesday. Pic/Ashish Raje
People step out to buy essentials in Dharavi on Tuesday. Pic/Ashish Raje

A civic official said that the instructions on the demarcation of zones as per colours will come from higher authorities. Grocery store timings will also be revised as per this in the zones. While stores in the red zones will be shut, in the other zones they will function on alternate days from morning to afternoon so that there is no crowding. Currently, some wards have odd and even dates when they keep grocery stores open. After the instructions there won't be confusion over this, the official said.

Officials also revealed that temporary vegetable vendors are less likely to come up in your vicinity, as ward officers, who have been given discretionary powers for this, might not agree to it.

No temporary vending zones
As there won't be temporary vending zones and there are no plans to restart closed markets, the shortage of vegetables will still continue. The instructions by the municipal commissioner to set up temporary vegetable vending areas state that vendors must be at least two feet apart while and the customers must be at least three and a half feet away. These temporary vegetable centres were to be opened to spread out crowds. But ward officers are not keen on the temporary vending zones. They prefer continuing with the current arrangement. A ward officer said, "As it was noticed that citizens kept coming outdoors with a reason to shop for essentials such as vegetables, we had shut markets. We will continue this as we want to arrest the rise of cases and want social distancing to be followed."

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