BMC corporators yet to suggest venues for vaccination centres

A day after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced that vaccination centres will be started in all 227 ward divisions, municipal corporators are finding it difficult to suggest potential places that could be transformed into vaccination centres in their ward.

The BMC in its order has suggested the corporators for pitching venues where booths could be set up, in the order the civic body has also mentioned that vaccination centres will not be set up at municipal schools and community halls as the civic body will not be able to keep these properties occupied for long run as they will have to function for running business again.

Many corporators are finding it difficult to pitch places as they said that many of their wards don't have open spaces.

Vinod Mishra, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporator and group leader of the party in the BMC said that the civic body should have allowed centres to be set up at community halls and banquets halls.

"I have suggested two places from my ward, in my opinion the civic body should have allowed booths to be set up at banquet halls at least, because Mumbai has a mixed demography and many corporators are finding it difficult to find spaces for setting up booths in their ward," Mishra told FPJ.

Harshita Narwekar, BJP corporator from South Mumbai's Cuffe Parade, said that the civic administration should have allowed vaccination booths to be set up in the municipal schools at least.

"The state government will not allow opening of schools anytime soon and children are also not eligible to get their vaccine dose as of now, hence the municipal schools would have been an easier option for the municipal body to set up vaccination booths," Narwekar told FPJ. From her constituency, Narwekar has suggested the World Trade Centre and Mahila Vikas Mandal that could be transformed as vaccination centres.

Asif Zakaria, senior Congress corporator from Bandra west has said that there are many BMC buildings that are lying in a dilapidated state and the administration can consider activating these facilities.

"Many buildings that the BMC had constructed for making welfare centres and health centres, are now in a dilapidated go-down like condition. The civic body can easily start these facilities now, many of these buildings are spacious and will serve the best use for this purpose," Zakaria told FPJ.

Meanwhile, many residential buildings and housing associations have approached the civic body for giving their space as vaccination centres.

"We have written to the local ward office expressing our interest that they can set up vaccination booths in our society premises, previously the BMC arranged testing camps in our building as well," said Gopal Bhatt, resident of Skylight towers, Malad.

"Setting up vaccination centres at residential buildings is not a safe option, we may consider it as a last option if need arises," said a civic official.

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