After the state has eased some lockdown restrictions, many citizens have started thronging beaches and promenades across the city. Last week, many citizens were seen spending time at Marine Drive.
This has raised concerns among residents living here as they fear these huge gatherings can lead to a surge in Covid-19 cases.
Residents said after the first wave receded, people started visiting promenades and beaches. This had led to an increase in cases during the second wave.
A resident and vice president of Marine Drive Citizen’s Association (MDCA), Ashok Gupta said in the last one week, many of his neighbours and acquaintances were infected with Covid-19 even though they were fully vaccinated. “Last Sunday, the promenade was filled with people. There was barely any space to stand. We understand that things have opened up but people need to be cautious as we are anticipating a third wave,” Gupta said.
“We are studying the number of cases that are being reported from our ward. If we get some proof that the cases in our locality are rising due to overcrowding at the promenade, we will approach the authorities,” Gupta said.
Another resident and secretary of Marine Drive Resident’s Action Group Nikhil Banker said those visiting crowded place must be responsible for their own health.
Local corporator, Harshita Narwekar said the unavailability of open spaces has forced people to visit promenades. “For over a year, people have been forced to remain indoor. We can’t stop them from visiting these places as restrictions have been eased. The authorities can learn from this and start working towards making more open spaces in the city and suburbs,” Narwekar said.
Meanwhile, a senior BMC official from the solid waste management department said they will increase the number of marshals in these areas. “The entire Marine Drive promenade is 4-km long. So, we will have to deploy more marshals to ensure people follow Covid-appropriate behavior. We will also be increasing the number of marshals at other beaches and open spaces,” the official said.
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