Coronavirus in Mumbai: Infections in Dahisar-Borivli-Kandivli belt up, can civic body merger help?
BL Soni

Municipal Commisioner Iqbal Chahal, has attributed the steady rise in the rate of infection growth in the Dahisar- Borivli-Kandivli belt to the unrelenting rise in Covid-19 cases in neighbouring Mira-Bhayandar. Raising concerns about "poor civic amenities in the area", Chahal told The Free Press Journal that Mira-Bhayandar should be made part of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

According to Chahal, it is the lack of health infrastructure to fight a pandemic as deadly as Covid-19, that has caused cases to spike in Mira-Bhayandar and the rest of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and this, in turn, has increased the load on the Mumbai's hospitals and testing facilities over the past few months. "Besides cases coming to Mumbai for treatment, there is a regular influx of people from Mira-Bhayandar towards Mumbai. This has impacted neighbouring areas, such Dahisar, Borivli, Kandivli, Malad and Goregaon, derailing the recovery rate," Chahal said.

Stating that Mira-Bhayandar region is posing a hurdle in the recovery of Dahisar, Kandivli and Borivli, Chahal suggested that the area should become part of BMC. "With crumbling health infrastructure and no resources, MBMC is struggling to contain the pandemic. Bad roads, poor civic amenities have been a major issue in the are. BMC is well-equipped, has better resources to take care of Mira-Bhayandar. I feel Mira-Bhayandar should become part of BMC," Chahal added.Chahal however clarified that no formal discussion or proposal to this effect had been made, this was just his suggestion.
A senior official from the MBMC said, "The BMC already has loads of issues to tackle. If Mira-Bhayandar has bad roads, so does Mumbai. Things have changed in Mira-Bhayandar since the corporation was first constituted. As far as the pandemic is concerned, since major hospitals are in Mumbai, patients are shifted there."
The Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation was formed on June 12, 1985, by incorporating all the village gram panchayats. Consequently, the MBMC got an administrative officer and a chief officer to look after the affairs of the area. The MBMC is currently run by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Meanwhile, the BMC, Asia's richest municipality, has been ruled by the Shiv Sena for the last few decades.Worried about the steady rise in infection growth rate in the Dahisar, Borivali and Kandivali belt, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) chief has attributed it to the unrelenting rise in covid19 cases in neighbouring Mira-Bhayandar. Raising concerns about "poor civic amenities in the area, BMC commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal told the Free Press Journal, that Mira Bhayandar should be made part of the Mumbai Civic body.

According to Chahal, lack of the health infrastructure to fight a pandemic as deadly as covid19, the rise in cases in Mira Bhayandar and rest of Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) has been increasing the load on the Mumbai's hospitals and testing facilities since past few months. "Besides the cases coming to Mumbai for treatment, there is a regular influx of people from Mira-Bhayandar towards Mumbai. This has impacted neighbouring areas such Dahisar, Borivali, Kandivali, Malad and Goregaon, derailing the recovery rate," Chahal said.

Stating that Mira-Bhayandar region is posing a hurdle in recovery of Dahisar Kandivali and Borivali Chahal insisted that the area should become part of BMC. "With crumbling health infrastructure and no resources, MBMC is struggling to contain the pandemic. Bad roads, poor civic amenities have been a major issue in the area. BMC is well equipped, and has better resources to take care of Mira Bhayandar. I feel Mira Bhayandar should become part of BMC," Chahal added.

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