BENGALURU: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike ‘sealed’ two houses with tin sheets on Thursday after a resident tested positive for Covid-19. The civic body, which was embarrassed after the ‘tin sheets’ went viral on social media, removed them later.
It all began when the residents of a prime apartment complex in Bengaluru found two flats in the complex being sealed down with asbestos sheets. An alert resident posted two photographs on social media, where the contractors were seen ‘sealing’ down the home of a Covid-19 positive person and that of his neighbour in Ranka Apartment complex, Domlur, with tin sheets in the afternoon.
The residents alerted the BBMP Mayor and Commissioner on the ‘sealing’ of the two flats. Stating that this is a fire hazard, they wanted to know what the senior citizens or children will do if there is a fire. Many netizens shamed the government and the BBMP for the act. As the news spread and it caught the attention of the BBMP officials, they rushed to the spot to remove the sheets.
BBMP Commissioner N Majunatha Prasad took to Twitter to reply: “I have ensured removing of this barricade immediately. We are committed to treating all persons with dignity. The purpose of containment is to protect the infected and to ensure uninfected are safe.
We are committed to addressing any issues that result in stigma. Apologies over the enthusiasm of the local staff (sic).” Dr Basavaraj, nodal officer, in charge of Covid containment zones, told The New Indian Express 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 said.
The engineer, however, tried to defend himself and said the contractor and the ground staff went ahead on the request of the apartment complex residents. “Since the residents do not want any problems, they asked us to seal down the apartments on the floor and this was done. But now it has been cleared,” he said.
According to the residents, “The person was found positive on Sunday.
Though there was a poster on the door stating the person was positive and the neighbour was a primary contact, on Thursday the officials started nailing sheets on the door. When we questioned them, they said that they knew their job and it was part of the set procedure and protocol. We kept quiet thinking that it was a new procedure. We had not told anyone to do so.”