Mumbai: BMC to store global vaccine stock at Kanjurmarg facility

While the BMC has already floated a global tender to procure vaccines from the international market, it is not scouting for any additional storage facility to keep the vaccines. Suresh Kakani, BMC additional commissioner and in-charge for Public Health said that at present, there is no need for an additional facility. "The Kanjurmarg facility is more than enough to store the vaccines that we plan to acquire from the global market. The consignment will not come in one go. It will arrive in a phased manner. So it will leave us enough time to micro-manage the infrastructure," Kakani told FPJ. He added that if required, additional freezers could be installed in the spacious facility.

Currently, vaccines are stored at a facility in Kanjurmarg. The BMC had identified this five-storeyed building in December 2020 and transformed it into a storage facility. According to BMC officials, the facility has the capacity to store around one crore vaccines. It is equipped with two walk-in coolers, one walk-in freezer and a workshop to repair ice-lined refrigerators, which are being used by the vaccination centres for storing the vials.

The BMC on Wednesday had floated a global tender to acquire one crore vaccines from the international market. Senior officials also maintained that if the vaccines require beyond 2-8 degrees of temperature for storage purposes, then the suppliers will have to provide the BMC with their own cold storage infrastructure. The present freezing system has the capacity to maintain temperatures between 2-8 degrees Celsius and –25 deg C to –15 deg C respectively.

The officials also said the reason why civic officials are preferring the Kanjurmarg facility is that it can be accessed through all parts of the city. "We can easily transfer the vaccines from the Kanjurmarg storage to parts of Western suburbs and Dahisar through the Aarey corridor and it doesn't take much time. Alongside this facility the BMC also has a backup facility ready at F south ward in Parel," Dr Mangala Gomare - executive officer - BMC Public health department, had told FPJ.

The last date of sending queries for the tender is May 16. The BMC plans to open the Expression of Interest (EOI)on May 18. The clause in the tender also added that all the EOI in the document is tentative.

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