COVID-19: Two civic bodies in Maharashtra bar movement of essential service workers to Mumbai
The Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) and Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) issued an order disallowing movement of people from their jurisdiction who are working in the essential services sector in Mumbai, in the days ahead.
The decision, according to both KDMC and NMMC, has been taken as the commuting employees have a sizeable contribution in the COVID-19 count in the region which comes under the jurisdiction of the two civic bodies.
KDMC has issued a circular stating that after May 8, those providing essential services will also not be allowed into KDMC. The circular's definition includes employees working in essential service sectors such as banks, private organisation and even Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
"I respect and salute the courage of those who are a part of essential or emergency services and travel to Mumbai on a regular basis to ensure service. However, among the 224 positive cases in KDMC, 73 are those who work in these services and 28 of their relatives have also been affected, so 101 of the total number of cases are due to those who are travelling to Mumbai regularly and due to this people are scared of this situation as the cases are increasing," KDMC Commissioner Vijay Suryawanshi said on Tuesday.
"We also have the responsibility of looking after the families of people providing these essential services. We, therefore, request the organisation of these employees providing essential services to make an arrangement for their accommodation in Mumbai, that is why we have given two days time and the order will come into effect from May 8," he added.
Annasaheb Misal, NMMC Commissioner, also said that the decision to stop the movement of employees was thought of after taking into account the rising number of cases.
"We have to implement it and we have sent the names of the BMC officials, workers to BMC also who are working as a part of essential services, whether it includes banks or private organisations located in Mumbai. The reason behind this restriction is we have seen an increase in the numbers of cases in Navi Mumbai due to the people working in Mumbai commuting from here on a daily basis. It's indeed a risky situation and so we need to implement it, as of now, this restriction will continue till the lockdown i.e. May 17," Misal said.
It is important to note that around 11,000 BMC employees commute from areas under the KDMC and other corporations in the vicinity of Mumbai.
BMC PRO Khabale said, "BMC has got this circular from KDMC and we are planning accordingly. Around 11,000 workers and officials are coming from KDMC and nearby corporation to work here."
Meanwhile, BJP leader Kirit Somaiya on Wednesday slammed the Maharashtra government for not providing accommodation for the BMC workers coming for other municipal corporation areas.
"The Maharashtra government has not made any provisions for the accommodation of employees coming from areas falling under other municipal corporations apart from BMC. This will lead to hospitals, and other facilities closing down on May 8," Somaiya said.
Maharashtra with 15,525 confirmed cases is the worst affected state in the country by COVID-19.