Ghaziabad: Containment zone list not in public domain despite govt directions
Amid the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Ghaziabad, the list of containment zones that is prepared by the district administration is still not in public domain. The residents have complained that due to lack of proper information on containment zones they find it difficult to know about the areas which should be avoided.
The Uttar Pradesh government, in their three consecutive orders issued for Unlock 2, Unlock 3 and Unlock 4, has directed the respective district magistrates to put up containment zones’ list on the district’s official website and also send the same to the Union ministry of health and family welfare and the state’s health and home departments.
According to the official records, on September 1, the district had 336 containment zones with 842 active cases under category 1 (having single positive case) and category 2 (having more than one positive cases) zones. However, the number of active cases in the district on September 1 stood at 1,421, as per the state control room figures. Notably, the containment zones are created as per defined norms which have been issued time to time by the government.
“The list of containment zones in Ghaziabad is not in the public domain. We somehow used to get the list off and on during initial months when the number of zones was less. Now, with high number of cases, the number of zones is also on the rise. The working of the district administration is not transparent in this regard. It makes us think that whether the containment zones are managed properly or not,” said Colonel (retired) TP Tyagi, president of flat owners’ association.
“We often read in newspapers that the district has a particular number of containment zones. But nothing is known about the areas in which these zones are present. Whether they are sealed properly or not is not known to citizens or the civil society,” he added.
The neighbouring district of Gautam Budh Nagar, on the other hand, has been regular in updating the list of its containment zones. The official website of the district has a link -- gbnagar.nic.in/novel-corona-virus-covid-19/ -- where the list of containment zones are uploaded since July 1 and updated regularly.
In Ghaziabad, in one-off tweet from the Twitter handle of the district magistrate, a list was last shared on June 18.
“At present, on the ground the concept of containment zones hardly exists. The list is not in public domain for the use of residents to know which areas should be avoided. We have taken to social media and also contacted the respective incident commanders of the zones to provide us the list,” said Alok Kumar, founder member of the federation of association of apartment owners.
When asked about the issue, Ghaziabad district magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey said that he will hold a review meeting on Wednesday evening in this regard. Pandey said he will ensure that list of containment zones is put up in public domain.
“It seems that there has been some laxity on part of some officials. I will hold a review meeting on Wednesday evening and will see to it that the list gets uploaded. A comprehensive review will be taken up during the meeting,” he added.
According to the list accessed for September 1, the highest active cases, 147, are under the jurisdiction of Sihani Gate police station where 46 zones are active. The next on the list is the Indirapuram police station area which has 77 zones with 142 active cases. Likewise, the police station areas of Sahibabad, Kavi Nagar and Vijay Nagar have 18, 28 and 23 zones with 84, 101 and 90 active cases, respectively.
The containment zones are created on the recommendation from the health department. Thereafter, the administration officials, called as incident commanders, are tasked to supervise the sealing and timely de-sealing of the zones.
According to UP chief secretary RK Tiwari’s order on July 24, the category 1 zones were revised to have an area of 100 metres radius as against 250 metres earlier. The category 2 zones were also directed to have an area of 200 metres radius as against the previous area of 500 metres, along with an additional buffer zone of 250 metres outside the containment zone. At present, defining the buffer area is left to the district officials on the basis of local assessment.