Shelter homes made for red containment zones in Pune fail to attract temporary residents
70 temporary shelters created by PMC in schools for most congested high Covid-19 prone ‘red containment zones’, but residents complain of lack of food, basic necessities at premisesUpdated: Apr 30, 2020 16:11 IST
Though the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has created 70 temporary shelters in schools for the most congested high Covid-19 prone ‘red containment zones’ of Bhavani peth, Dhole Patil road and Kasba-Vishrambaugwada, slum dwellers and others in small, congested tenements are unwilling to move there.
In some areas, even the residents living around these dedicated schools have opposed these shelter homes for shifting people from red zone areas.
Congress Avinash Bagwe from Bhavani peth area said,“People are not ready to move for various reasons. There is no food facility and for every small thing they need to return home which would not be allowed by the police. People are saying that those who are Covid-19 positive and under quarantine are not getting good facilities. Then, why should we leave our homes? They are worried that their belongings and utensils might get stolen from their homes if they move out.”
With the Covid-19 positive cases maximising in five wards in the city, namely- Kasba peth, Vishrambaugwada, Bhavani peth, Dhole Patil road and Shivajinagar- Pune municipal commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad had decided to convert 70 schools into the temporary shelters.
Even though the shifting to these centres was to be voluntary, some sections of the media and social media created panic by reporting that some 70,000 families from the crowed areas would be shifted to the temporary shelters.
Gaikwad said, “We made the temporary arrangement of the shelter homes. In many homes people are living in small houses which is not more than 100 to 150 square feet. During the lockdown, it is not possible to stay in small homes where more positive cases are emerging. So, we appealed to the people to stay in temporary shelters and PMC would provide toilet and water facility. It is voluntary and not mandatory that each citizen gets shifted.”
Dhole Patil road ward officer Dayanand Sonkamble said, “We kept six schools ready and cleaned all the class rooms. We appeal to the people to come and stay here.”
Congress corporator Arvind Shinde who is representing Dhole Patil road and Tadiwala slum areas said, “It is wrong planning to make temporary shelters. People live in small groups at home, but the government machinery is asking them to come and stay inside these schools with 30-40 other people. Sending people there without any screening is wrong.”
One of the ward officers on condition of anonymity said, “We got many messages from the residents living around schools who were opposed to the shifting of the citizens from crowded areas to these schools as they are worried that it would spread the infection in their areas as well.”
Another PMC officer on the condition of anonymity said that it is true that there is less response to the temporary shelters as people do not want to leave their homes. “PMC is only providing a place to stay, for tea, snacks and food they have to again go home. It is not possible to create a food facility for such a large number of people at the schools every day,” he added.
Avinash Bagwe who is an elected member of the PMC said, “The schools are located at least a kilometre away from the homes of the residents, they have to walk back and forth for food, among other things. Hence, residents do not want to shift.”
Pune Municipal Corporation issued a press statement and said that only 43 citizens on Tuesday night shifted from Sadashiv peth and Navi peth to the Dharmaveer Sambhaji School on Tuesday evening and stayed at night . This school is located near Navi peth.
Resident Dilip Patole living in Bhavani peth area said, “Earlier, our impression was that the government would shift us forcefully. When we got more information, we came to know that the administration is only providing a place to stay and there is no food and bed arrangement. It means that we have two options- one to shift our utensils and cook there, which is not possible and second option is to go there and rest but come home for daily needs like tea, and food. Both the options are not practical and hence, we preferred to stay at our homes.”