Despite a confirmed case of the Corona Virus in Hiranandani, Powai this week, and a Corona related death in the city, Hundreds of Powaiites flocked to the IIT market to benefit from a weekly flea sale at IIT Market, prompting the BMC to take stringent measures.
Residents from Powai had come to IIT Market to purchase goods from the weekly flea sale where vendors from across the city assemble to sell products ranging from bags, handicrafts, designer jewellery, food items, among a host of other things at extremely discounted prices.
This flea sale takes place at the IIT Market every Tuesday and Thursday drawing a massive crowd, with this week being no exception despite overall environment of precaution owing to the pandemic.
A congregation of hundreds of residents for the sole reason of purchasing goods and services at discounted rates just a day after two residents from the Birchwood building in Hirandani have been sent for quarantine at the Kasturba Hospital paints an uncomfortable picture for the upscale suburb and highlights a lack of civic responsibility at a time when the civic authorities are doing their best to contain the pandemic.
However, it is not only the civic bodies who have been working to curb exposure to the Corona Virus. Following the World Health Organisations (WHO) declaration of COVID-19 as a “Global Pandemic”, even private organisations have begun experimenting with the ‘Work from Home’ (WFH) formulae to minimise potential exposure for their employees.
Yet in the backdrop of the state being the highest in terms of COVID-19 cases, and the central and state machinery requesting residents to act responsibly and avoid leaving the confines of their homes, this congregation of residents have disregarded all the warnings jeopardising the health and safety of the community, city and the country at large.
Such a large congregation of people prompted the BMC to take stringent action, with the civic officials rounding up the market vendors and dispersing the crowd all the way from Gokhale Nagar to the IIT Main Gate.
Speaking about this blatant disregard for public safety during a time of crisis, Ward 122 Corporator Vaishali Patil said, “Such a widespread collection of residents at a time of a global emergency is not only dangerous and foolhardy but also immoral.
This not only jeopardises the health of residents who had gathered inside IIT Market but also threatens the health of the entire community. Such a decision by these residents is absolutely unacceptable, especially at a time when medical professionals and the state are working to find a way to curb this.
The BMC was right to have rounded up the vendors, as this would dissuade the residents from coming as there would be no one buy anything from in the vicinity.” With Maharashtra having reported the greatest number of cases in the country, and this week having witnessed three deaths in the city along with multiple cases of Mumbaikars showing symptoms being quarantined at Kasturba Hospital and other quarantine centers, such public display of civic apathy must be called into question.
While the central and state governments have been well prepared to deal with the situation and the BMC working around the clock to isolate patients in the city and identify those they have been in contact with, it is now time for residents to act responsibly and avoid leaving their homes unless absolutely required.