An empty auto stand in Kalyan (W)
An empty auto stand in Kalyan (W)

In the wake of large scale opposition from many quarters, the Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) has put on hold its order banning to-and-fro travel to Mumbai and entry and exit of local residents employed for essential services in Mumbai.

Apart from KDMC, the municipal corporation of Ulhasnagar and municipal councils of Ambernath and Badlapur -- all in neighbouring Thane district -- had announced similar decisions on Tuesday.

KDMC Commissioner Vijay Suryavanshi put on hold his order which was to come into effect from May 8 and remain in force till May 17. Suryavanshi had cited that BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is making lodging arrangements for its employees coming to Mumbai in nearby hotels. KDMC Commissioner in his order had said local residents from twin-cities had to make their own lodging arrangements.

"Many Covid-19 cases found in Kalyan-Dombivli and Ulhasnagar municipal corporations traced the source of their infection under the BMC limits. Unless we stop people from moving between these cities and Mumbai, we cannot control further spread of COVID- 19," said officials from both the municipal corporations.

In a related development, the Thane Municipal Corporation on Wednesday hinted that it was considering such a ban. The Thane Municipal Commissioner Vijay Singhal said 70% of the Covid-19 cases in Thane are from the people working in Mumbai.

Senior Shiv Sena leader and Thane District Guardian Minister Eknath Shinde said the spread of coronavirus in the city is largely because of the people travelling between Mumbai and Thane.

“We will have to take decision for the arrangements of stay of these employees travelling to Mumbai on daily basis,” he said. He added that no such decision will be taken without consulting the authorities concerned.

Kalyan MP Shrikant Shinde expressed the need for a proper staying facility for the people who travel to Mumbai to avoid further spread of coronavirus infection. "Such arrangements can be made in Mumbai city," he said.

Mumbai’s guardian minister, Aslam Shaikh, expressed displeasure over the decision by these municipal corporations terming it “unfair”.

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Free Press Journal