The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has planned to give away free masks to the students of the municipal schools as a precautionary measure against the ongoing pandemic situation in the city.
There are nearly 3.5 lakh students studying in the municipal schools of Mumbai. According to the BMC sources, each student will be given 25 masks, which would be reusable and could be washed for one month. The civic body has already floated tender inviting bids from sellers, for procuring about 80 lakh masks, which would cost approximately Rs 20 crore to the BMC.
The civic officials informed that the masks would be given to the students, so they could use them for a minimum timeline of two years as the administration fears that the effects of the ongoing pandemic is going to stay for some time.
"A tender has been invited for procuring the masks and the masks will be available in small and large size" said a senior official of the central purchase department (BMC).
In the tender, it has been mentioned that each mask should have at least three layers, an unbreakable nose piece, an adjustable head band and should be washable upto 30 times without wasting the integrity of the mask.
Meanwhile, leaders of Oppositions in the civic body has raised question on this matter. Vinod Mishra, senior BJP corporator and group leader of the party in the BMC, accused the civic administration of forging COVI19 expenses by bringing the issue of masks.
"The rate of mask published by Haffkin Institute is Rs 4.50. Then why the civic administration is procuring such expensive masks instead? I will be writing to the municipal commissioner demanding an enquiry on this matter" Mishra told FPJ.
Earlier on November, the school education department had announced reopening of schools from standards 9 to 12. However, the civic body had extended the deadline and stated that schools in Mumbai would be allowed to open only after January 15.