The BMC is fretting over the ham-handed manner in which the mass vaccination drive across the city has been handled, marred by technical glitches and overcrowding.
It is pointed out that the civic body had requested the Centre to allow them to develop their own portal for hassle-free vaccination, but the proposal was rejected at the last minute, on the plea that the entire inoculation drive was centralised.
Officials said centralising the immunisation drive has not only created problems but also provided them with very little time for preparation on the ground.
Ideally, the vaccination drive should have been decentralised and each state or city given the latitude to have their own application. This realisation has become even more acute after witnessing the maddening rush of senior citizens and the hapless healthcare workers at the designated vaccination hubs, after the centralised Co-Win portal crashed.
Senior officials said conducting a mass immunisation drive is not a cakewalk, as it needs detailing and must leave room for fine-tuning.
“We started receiving guidelines and protocols from the central government just two days before the vaccination drive and they expected us to be in a state of readiness. Considering the population of Mumbai and its peculiar logistics, we required more time for work on the ground, which would have enabled us to conduct a hassle-free drive,’’ he said.
However, this is not the first time the central government has issued guidelines or directed them to start a vaccination drive at short notice. They had suggested that they could develop their own application, but unfortunately the proposal was rejected. “Considering that we had to inoculate nearly two crore Mumbaikars, we had requested that the process be streamlined and that was only possible if we had our own application,’’ the officer added.
‘‘Moreover, the central government wanted us to prepare for every eventuality. It is not surprising that the Co-Win portal is a big flop and it has led to such mismanagement,” said an official from the public health department.