The Bengaluru civic body on Thursday faced sharp criticism after its officials sealed two flats in a apartment complex in Domlur with tin sheets as a resident tested positive for the coronavirus, The New Indian Express reported. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike removed them and apologised after the apartment’s managing committee member Satish Sangameswaran pointed out that two children and a senior citizen will be trapped inside in case of an emergency.
“What if there is a fire?” Sangameswaran tweeted. “Understand the need for containment, but this is an extremely dangerous fire hazard – please address urgently.”
He added: “Apart from the fire hazard, also makes it difficult for the emergency response team set up within the apt [apartment] to support the families on groceries, etc. They are bulk ordering to minimise delivery contact, this makes it impossible to pass on big packages of essentials”.
BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad said he has ensured that the barricades were removed immediately and apologised for the “over-enthusiasm of local staff”. Prasad added that the civic body is committed to treating everyone with dignity. “The purpose of containment is to protect the infected and to ensure the uninfected are safe,” he tweeted. “We are committed to addressing any issues that result in stigma.”
Dr Basavaraj, nodal officer in charge of Covid-19 containment zones, said that action was being taken against the engineer and the contractor. “This is not acceptable, as despite detailed training on how to seal down areas, this has been done,” he added.
However, the engineer claimed the ground staff boarded up the two flats after residents requested them to do so. “Since the residents do not want any problems, they asked us to seal down the apartments on the floor and this was done,” he said. “But now it has been cleared.”
Residents refuted the allegations and said BBMP officials told them it was part of a set procedure and protocol, according to The New Indian Express.