Mumbai: Mumbai, the city with the highest number of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra, is facing stigmatisation due to the fear factor over the dreaded virus. The neighbouring cities have issued prohibitory orders to their local residents, who work for essential services in Mumbai, denying them entry in their jurisdiction.
The civic bodies of Kalyan-Dombivali, Ulhasnagar, Ambernath and Kulgaon-Badlapur – the satellite cities of the metropolis – have issued orders prohibiting the movement of local residents working in Mumbai from May 8.
However, following the furore, the municipal corporations of Kalyan-Dombivali and Ulhasnagar have put their orders on hold. The municipal councils of Ambernath and Kulgaon-Badlapur are also expected to follow suit, said local MP Shrikant Shinde from the Shiv Sena.
He said, “The concept behind these prohibitory orders was to curb the spread of coronavirus. There are a large number of people who visit Mumbai for work. We are trying to arrange their accommodation near their establishments. Talks are on with the BMC chief on this issue. Though they will not be forced, even if 50 per cent of these people decide to stay in Mumbai during the lockdown period, it will be a great help in containing the pandemic.”
The Kalyan-Dombivali municipal commissioner Vijay Suryavanshi had appealed to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and other establishments to arrange for the stay of their local residents, who travel to Mumbai. The Ambernath and Badlapur municipal councils too had said that the accommodation arrangement for people going to Mumbai for work will be made by the BMC. The civic bodies of all the four cities had asked all such employees to register their names online.
According to the civic officials of these cities, the Covid-19 cases in these areas are on rise due to the infections coming from the BMC limits. The family members of these employees are also found to be infected with coronavirus. Hence, the decision to deny entry to these people was taken to ensure the safety of their family and neighbourhood.
A BMC staffer said, “Though we are risking our lives by daily going to Mumbai, it’s a part of our duty. We are scared of infection, but staying away from the family will also be difficult.”
Social activist Anil Galgali said that the decision to deny entry to those, who travel to Mumbai, has created confusion in the minds of government employees, who are fighting tirelessly against the virus. The government should act promptly on this, he added