Mumbai: Amid surge in Covid cases BMC to keep vigilant eye on beaches and promenades

To keep a check on the steady rise in Covid-19 cases across the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will be keeping a vigilant watch on the beaches, promenades and open areas of the city.

Mumbaikars gather at the beaches of the city regularly in large numbers especially during the weekends at night. Local residents staying near these areas have also raised the issue that despite the rise in Covid cases, Mumbaikars are still not taking their habit of wearing masks seriously.

"At the Marine Drive promenade many people could still be seen without their masks, this is really frightening for all of us as almost every building in our locality now has a Covid-19 case," said Ashok Gupta - vice president - Marine Drive Citizen's Association.

"We can see BMC marshals fining them during daytime however, the number of flouters increase during the night and early morning," Gupta added.

"The BMC needs to tighten its policies as lot of people could be seen during the afternoon at the Versova and Juhu beaches. This is really dangerous especially now that the number of cases is rising," said Dhaval Shah - founder and spokesperson Lokhandwala and Oshiwara Citizen's Association (LOCA).

These issues have raised concern amongst Mumbaikars as a result of which, the civic body has increased the number of marshals that are being deployed at beaches and promenades.

Mumbai mayor - Kishori Pednekar has said that BMC ward officials have been instructed to deploy maximum number of marshals at these open spaces.

"Mumbaikars needs to understand that this is not the time to roam around. The number of positive cases in the city is continuously on the rise and we have to take things really seriously," Pednekar told FPJ.

"We have been told that at places like Juhu beach and Girgaon Chowpatty, people crowd during night time during weekends and they do not follow the Covid appropriate behaviour, which is why more marshals have been placed there and BMC officers have also been told to keep a vigilant eye," Pednekar said.

A senior official from the Solid Waste Management (SWM) department, which has the responsibility of collecting fines said that marshals have been divided into shifts now and most of those working at night shifts are being deployed at beaches and open promenades.

"We have divided the marshals on teams depending on the wards which has beach areas and promenades," the official added.

"Areas like Girgaon, Marine Drive, Bandra and Dadar are our main concern as most of the people gather here," the official added.

Earlier this week, BJP MLA - Ameet Satam appealed to the civic body that the Juhu beach should be shut during weekends.

"Most of the flouters are either young people or tourists who come from the satellite cities to these areas, this is totally risky and the civic administration should get stricter with its policies now," said Bandra corporator Asif Zakaria.

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