A Bengaluru man raised concern on Twitter that the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike had sealed the door of two adjacent Bengaluru apartments with a metal sheet after residents of the apartment tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
In his tweet, Satish Sangameshwaram said while one apartment houses a mother and two children, the other apartment had an aged couple. He questioned how placing metal sheets to barricade entry and exit was safe and pointed that this could be a fire safety hazard in case of an untoward incident.
He tweeted, â€śApart from the fire hazard, it also makes it difficult for the emergency response team set up within the apt 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.â€ť
BBMP sealing done in our building for a confirmed Covid case. Lady with 2 small children, next door neighbours are an aged couple. What if there is a fire, @BBMPCOMM ? Understand the need for containment, but this is an extremely dangerous fire hazard - please address urgently. pic.twitter.com/pCDMn5Peflâ€” Satish Sangameswaran (@satishs) July 23, 2020
In his Twitter thread, he tagged the official handles of Bengaluru Mayor, BBMP Commissioner and even the Chief Minister.
BBMP soon discovered that the incident had happened in Domlur and sent officials there to remove the sheets.
T Basavaraju, a senior officer in the BBMP-in-charge of containment zones said this was a lapse on part of the officials and he said this will be rectified.
â€śThe incident that has been captured in the photograph is wrong. I donâ€™t know why this has been done, I will ask my staff so that this is rectified right away,â€ť he told TNM after the issue was brought to his notice.
He said putting metal sheets is to be done to restrict movement in open streets but not on individual apartment doors.
Another BBMP officer, Dr Lokesh, who was in-charge of surveillance also confirmed that this was not in tune with BBMP's standard operating procedure.
I have ensured removing of this barricades immediately. We are committed to treat all persons with dignity. The purpose of containment is to protect the infected and to ensure uninfected are safe. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/JbPRbmjspKâ€” N. Manjunatha Prasad,IAS (@BBMPCOMM) July 23, 2020
A few hours later, Satish, who brought the matter to public notice, said all was well. â€śUPDATE: The BBMP team came in a while ago and removed the tin sheets from outside both the flats, and the staircase access area. Appreciate the quick and sensible response to the feedback,â€ť he tweeted
UPDATE: The BBMP team came in a while ago and removed the tin sheets from outside both the flats, and the staircase access area. Appreciate the quick and sensible response to the feedback, @BBMPCOMM. Kudos. @BBMP_MAYOR @CMofKarnataka https://t.co/qTWeU3YjBrâ€” Satish Sangameswaran (@satishs) July 23, 2020
Another Bengaluru resident told TNM that he knew of a similar incident in Cooke Town.
As of Thursday, the city has a total of 11,638 containment zones. Bengaluru South is the most affected area with the highest number of cases while Dasarahalli Zone is the least affected.
Ramamurthy Nagar, Malleshwaram, HAL Airport ward, Chickpete, Shantala Nagar, Koramangala, KR Market, Padrayanapura, Raja Rajeshwari Nagar, Chamrajpet, Begur, and Arekere are among the city wads which have more than 50 active cases.