Don’t return home if you travelled to Mumbai: Civic bodies to residents

Some municipal corporations in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) have barred their residents from returning home if they work in Mumbai, triggering a sharp response from employees in essential services.

MMR has nine municipal corporations, including Mumbai, Thane, Ulhasnagar and Kalyan-Dombivali, with an estimated population of 23 million.

The municipal bodies of Kalyan-Dombilvali, Ulhasnagar and Badlapur issued orders on Tuesday banning their residents to come back home if they travel to Mumbai for work.

The Thane Municipal Corporation, the second largest corporation in the MMR, too, is considering such a ban, as announced by the municipal commissioner Vijay Singhal, who said 70% of the Covid-19 cases in Thane are from the people working in Mumbai.

Ambernath municipal council, too, has issued such an order. Following criticism, Kalyan put the order on hold.

Mumbai has close to 10,000 of the over 15,000 cases in the state. Tens of thousands of people travel to Mumbai from the adjoining cities for livelihood every day. Many of them work in essential services, including hospitals, government departments and water supply services in Mumbai.

Eknath Shinde, public works department (public undertaking) minister and the guardian minister of Thane, said the virus’s spread in the city is largely because of the people travelling between Mumbai and Thane.

“We will have to take decision for the arrangements of stay of these employees travelling to Mumbai on daily basis,” he said.

Mumbai’s guardian minister, Aslam Shaikh, said the decision by these municipal corporations is unfair and the issue will be discussed in the cabinet meeting to be held on Wednesday evening.

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