Gurugram: Ivy Apartment residents use ‘smart’ solutions for social distancing

BySadia Akhtar, Gurugram
Apr 06, 2020 06:21 AM IST

Amid the ongoing national lockdown, announced to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease, Ivy Apartments in Sushant Lok Phase 1 has come up with a ‘smart’ solution to ensure that residents are able to buy essential items without crowding the grocery store within the complex. Residents in the condominium use a mobile application to book a 30-minute slot for buying groceries and other essential items from the store.

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The mobile app allows only six residents to book a particular slot which ensures that not more than six people enter the shop in one go and maintain social distance.

Vijay Chopra, president of the RWA, said that the condominium was using a similar mechanism to manage bookings for the tennis court before the lockdown was imposed, and decided to adopt the approach to abide by social distancing norms at all times. “We have also marked circles on the floor at a distance of 2 metres so that social distancing is maintained when people wait outside the shop,” Chopra said.

Apart from relying on the service of the grocery shop on the premises, the condominium’s resident welfare association (RWA) has also tied up with vendors who provide residents with vegetables and fruits on a daily basis. “The fruit and vegetable vendors come everyday between 9am to 11am, this has been a great help in procuring food items. For medicines, there is a network of people who have been provided with curfew passes, and we place requests for these necessities with the management and those with the passes procure it for us,” Neel Mason, a resident, said.

In view of the lockdown, the apartment has cut down the strength of its staff and is managing with a small number of staffers to keep essential services such as diesel generator (DG), maintenance, STP (sewage treatment plant) and waste disposal running. The staff has been provided with boarding and lodging facilities within the condominium to reduce the chances of exposure to the outside world.

“We have reduced the staff members on the premises since the lockdown started. The housekeeping staff, security guards, technical team, and even the grocery shop owners are staying inside the premises. We have collected money through a donation drive and provided ration and other essential items that the staff may need. They cook for themselves and we don’t want them to go back to their villages since everyone is scared of the pandemic spreading further,” Chopra said. He added that the staff members were also provided with Vitamin C tablets and an in-house doctor was monitoring their health every day.

The condominium has also put in place a volunteer network to cater to the needs of residents, especially senior citizens that may require special assistance during the lockdown. Similarly, an emergency response team comprising doctors who live within the complex has also been formed. The RWA has roped in the housekeeping staff to ensure that apartments of senior citizens who do not have full-time domestic helpers are cleaned and sanitised at regular intervals.

“We had asked part-time helpers not to come to the society amid the lockdown and had anticipated that the temporary suspension could severely affect the elderly senior citizens who live on their own. In order to help them, we are some estate housekeeping staff clean the identified flats on alternate days,” Chopra said. The condominium has compiled a list of the elderly residents who’d need these services. The residents are required to pay a nominal fee for the service.

The condominium has barred the entry of part-time domestic help such as maids, cooks, drivers, car washers, and dog walkers among others. Entry for external vendors such as food delivery persons, meanwhile, has been restricted till the tower gate. Food and courier delivery agents are allowed til the entrance gates of the towers and the deliveries are made in a marked area that is disinfected regularly. All those entering the towers are screened by thermal scanners and are required to wash their hands in a portable wash-basin placed at the gate entrance, and use hand sanitizers.

Within the condominium, common areas are regularly sanitised. The RWA has purchased a chemical solution and undertakes daily disinfection and fogging exercises regularly. Further, plastic sheets have been placed on buttons inside the lift and the sheet is disinfected every few hours.

“We have also shared a format for practicing social distancing within the lifts. People using the lifts have been advised to stay at a distance and face the walls of the lift. Not more than four people are encouraged to use the lift at the same time. The lifts are sanitised on a daily basis,” Chopra said.

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