Covid-19 shocker: BMC to requisition all vacant premises

Mumbai, March 31 (IANS) In a shocker for Mumbaikars, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai has decided to requisition all vacant premises in Mumbai to house Covid-19 vulnerable persons, Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi announced here on Tuesday.

In an order, the civic chief said that high-risk or low-risk category of people who came in contact with some Covid-19 patients in some parts of Mumbai, live in very small homes, congested houses with common toilets in densely populated slums and are prone to get infected.

In order to arrest the further spread of coronavirus, it was necessary to urgently shift all such persons to bigger or more open spaces which would be their quarantine centres.

Accordingly, Pardeshi has ordered the civic officers to requisition all vacant residential buildings, hotels, lodges, clubs, colleges, hostels, ships, community halls, gymns, banquets, exhibition centres and ‘dharamshalas’ with immediate effect.

He has also directed them to make full arrangements for food and other requirements at these quarantine centres.

In a measure of relief, the civic chief said he would issue separate orders to make rental payments and food arrangements to the owners of such requisitioned premises.

All the owners of such requisitioned premises, who fail to comply with the MCGM orders, would be penalized under the laws, he warned.

Though the exact numbers of the premises likely to be requisitioned is not clear, the country’s commercial capital has estimated stocks of around 300,000-plus vacant or unsold flats in different localities, besides other buildings, guest houses, which may now become new ‘quarantine centres’.



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