Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Sunday cancelled its plan to turn the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai into a coronavirus quarantine facility for asymptomatic high-risk contacts and emergency staff of ‘A’ Ward.

A couple of days ago, BMC had directed the Mumbai Cricket Association to hand over the stadium at Churchgate. The civic body said the acquisition was of a temporary nature and payments for use of facilities would be done at a later date. It warned the MCA that refusal to cooperate could invite police action for disobedience to official order.

But the city’s civic body had now backtracked on the decision. The reason for this change is said to be the oncoming monsoons, however local residents had also heavily opposed the move.

The Marine Drive Residents’ Association had written a letter in protest and some had suggested alternate sites. Assistant municipal commissioner of ‘A’ ward Chanda Jadhav confirmed that the plan was cancelled after the complaints, according to Sportstar.

Cabinet Minister Aaditya Thackeray, however, tweeted that the reason behind the decision was that stadiums cannot be used during the monsoon. In reply to Sanjay Raut’s tweet he said, “We can’t take the grounds of the stadiums or playgrounds because they have a mud base and they won’t be usable during monsoons. An open space with a solid/concrete base is usable and it’s being done already. Had it not been for our monsoons, it is very usable.

The new BMC commissioner IS Chahal also refuted the reports. “I am surprised by reading news about a quarantine facility centre at the stadium. We are not taking over the cricket stadium or any other open space because, in Mumbai, it sometimes rains continuously for a week. It will not be useful at all for the administration to take care of people there,” he was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.

However, despite the issue of monsoons plans to set up similar facilities at the MMRDA ground in Bandra Kurla Complex is underway.