Coronavirus in Mumbai: Housing societies play the devil
Coronavirus in Mumbai: Housing societies play the devil

Mumbai: Fearing contamination of their premises, some of the housing societies in the city have started framing their own stringent rules, further restricting the movement of the members.

Recently, a housing society in MIDC, Andheri (East), restrained a 33-year-old tenant and his family, including his wife and two kids, from entering the society after they had returned from Surat.

The family was left stranded outside for 30 hours and were let in only after a few other members intervened and the tenant wrote a letter to the society.

GET CERTIFICATE: The curbs were a corollary of a rule the Maheshwari Nagar federation of five housing societies had framed after the lockdown was imposed.

As per this rule pasted on the notice board of the society, no member, tenants and their relatives will be allowed to enter the society if they were not in the society since March 24, when the lockdown was announced.

"Tenants and members who are out will have to inform the society two days in advance, should get a medical certificate of Covid19 negative for all family members from a reputed hospital," states the notice.

However Assistant municipal commissioner of K (East) ward Prashant Sapkale said, "There is no such rule or restriction on residents stipulated by either the state government or by the BMC.

Even if the members and tenants are symptomatic and not adhering to rules, the society can only inform the BMC. It cannot restrict or penalise residents in any way."

In Borivali, Mohan Society in Govind Nagar area has banned the entry of all outsiders, to the extent that even food delivery boys are not allowed, although the government has permitted this.

Members have been instructed to come down to the building gate and collect their parcels. When questioned about such strict curbs, a member said, "We are abiding by social distancing rules to keep the disease at bay. Residents who want such facilities can come down and collect their deliveries."

NO OUTSIDER: Another society in Anand Nagar, Dahisar (East), has also put an embargo on all outsiders. If an outsider wishes to enter the society, he must get permission from a government agency or the BMC. "No outsider, not even blood relatives, will be allowed to enter the premises without prior permission or approval of the BMC or any other government agency."

CAN’T VISIT PARENTS: The rule came into effect on May 8 after a few members of the society got into a spat over the entry restrictions. "My parents, who are over 70 years old, live in the building. I live in another society.

So, I used to visit them every two days to check on them and if they needed anything during the lockdown. However, the society has restricted my entry completely, stating that I can check on them through video calls," said Chirag Manvani, a Dahisar resident.

GATES LOCKED: In Kalachowki, a housing society has locked the gates of the building, even though there are no positive or suspected corona cases on the premises; the society members have purposely closed all the gates causing problems for the tenants, it is alleged. We understand that the society is doing all this for the sake of their tenants, but these rules can lead to problems if anyone has an emergency, said Deepak Khillari, a resident.

SANITISING TUNNEL: Amid all this plethora of restrictions, a society in Prabhadevi has become the first in the city to install a sanitising tunnel of its own on its premises. "Anyone who enters the building, including outsiders, has to pass through this sanitising tunnel, before entering. We have spent Rs 60000 to build and install this tunnel," said a resident of Shatrunjay Building in Prabhadevi.

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