Covid Surge in Mumbai: Eye on lockdown, BMC plans makeshift markets

In view of the rising number of Covid-19 cases, the BMC is working on a plan to set up makeshift markets at few open areas of the city in case a lockdown is imposed in Mumbai. After the lockdown was imposed in March, 2020, Mumbaikars faced a lot of inconvenience, acquiring regular essentials. Also, as the markets were closed, prices of vegetables and other regular products soared during the period.

Senior officials of the BMC have said that now that a chance of imposing another lockdown is there, the civic body is working on plans to make sure Mumbaikars don't face similar inconvenience. "If there is a lockdown then only we will set up temporary make-shift markets in some of the open spaces of the city. The spaces will be open and Mumbaikars can visit these spots and get their necessities," said Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner.

So far the civic body has scouted two spots where they are planning to set up the makeshift markets. The MMRDA grounds at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and the Somaiya grounds of Sion are presently the options, the BMC is shuffling through.

"These spaces are open and Mumbaikars can adhere to the distancing policies easily and we are working on further plans to ensure more protocols are maintained," Kakani added.

Earlier this month, mayor Kishori Pednekar had said that amid the rise in number of cases, the BMC is planning to temporarily shift the Dadar flower and vegetable market to BKC grounds, however Kakani said that there has been no plan of shifting the Dadar market and he also reiterated that the makeshift markets will be set up only if there is a lockdown.

Meanwhile the BMC has started a massive testing drive at the vegetable markets. Senior civic health officials said that in the ongoing week, five thousand samples have been tested so far out of which approximately 200 samples have been tested positive.

Officials said that most of the patients are asymptomatic and all of them have been shifted to BMC affiliated quarantine centres.

"We are focusing on maximum tests which is why we are conducting tests at crowded places, by this way we will be able to understand the pattern of the spread," the official said.

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