Mumbai: Housing societies implement strict rules to avert virus spread

In the wake of the new COVID-19 guidelines, residents of various housing societies in the city have adopted new measures to ensure that there is no spread inside their society premises. According to the new rules, if more than five positive cases are reported from any housing society, then that would be declared as a mini containment zone.

As a result, Mumbaikars living at areas like Bandra, Andheri, Goregaon, which has a high growth rate, have become serious with the new guidelines and have started to implement stricter measures to restrict movement of the citizens.

Residents of Pali Hill, Bandra said that if anyone is found roaming without their masks inside a building premises, then a fine of Rs 1,000 would be levied on them.

"We have started this drive last week and also if more than five people are seen gathering together inside the building premises, then also they will have to pay a fine amount of Rs 1,000 each," Madhu Poplai, secretary of the Pali Hill Resident's Association (PHRA).

Poplai also mentioned that along with fining the violators, PHRA has also that banned religious gatherings and social events inside the society premises.

Patricia Nath, president of Bandra West Resident's Association (BWRA), said that each society is adapting distinctive rules for combating the spread.

"Many buildings have made it compulsory for housekeeping staffers and drivers to carry a negative covid-19 report, or else they won't be allowed entry inside the building," Nath told FPJ.

Nath said that if any resident is seen without masks inside the society premises, then the watchman is clicking a picture of the person and is immediately circulating it amongst the office bearers.

"Shaming the violators is a good option to ensure everyone follow the rules," Nath added.

Dhaval Shah, founder and spokesperson of Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizen's Association (LOCA) under which 500 societies of Andheri, Versova areas are affiliated said that as the new rules have come into force people are fearing a complete lockdown of their building.

"In our area, there are 15-20 storey towers, now people are fearing that if there are only five cases, what if the civic body seal the entire building for two weeks ? This will cause them sheer inconvenience," Shah told FPJ.

"As a result people have become more concerned and have now started to restrict movements," Shah said.

Mayank Jain, general secretary of Mumbaikars of Goregaon (MoG) have said that as a preventive measure they now have restricted senior citizens from going out of the building.

"We have completely stopped the entry and exit of day to day maids, alongside this we have appointed a member from each building who is coordinating with local civic officials for getting the eligible citizens vaccinated at the earliest," Jain said.

Ashok Gupta, vice president of Marine Drive Citizen's Association (MDCA) have said that even though there is a fear of the spread, they are dealing with the situation in a smart way.

"We have to accept that this is going to stay, even though we have imposed some curbs by following the government orders, yet we are not stopping those who have emergency from going out," Gupta told FPJ.

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