After the success in taming coronavirus in Dharavi, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, here on Thursday, called upon the 838 non-government organisations (NGOs) to ‘adopt slums’ to make Mumbai COVID-19-free.
Addressing the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials and administrators, Thackeray said the NGOs could act as a link between the civic administration and the citizens at the ward levels as part of ‘Chase the Virus’ initiative.
“These NGOs will be registered by the Assistant Municipal Commissioners of each ward. They will adopt slums and other settlements in those wards. Take up door-to-door campaigns and involve locals for a corona-free Mumbai,” Thackeray said.
Referring to Dharavi story in controlling Covid-19, he said among the measures that helped were disinfecting public toilets in the slum six times a day, and added a similar strategy be adopted, especially when monsoon-related diseases were likely to develop.
“I have asked for setting up Corona Vigilance Committees at villages. We can keep even Mumbai safe, if the NGOs spread awareness on hygiene, wearing masks and sanitizers, especially in slums,” Thackeray said.
He said the BMC could take help of NGOs and other volunteers in disinfecting building sites, fumigating and other measures to prevent monsoon diseases, like dengue and malaria.
BMC Commissioner I.S. Chahal said since 2001 the ‘Dattak Vasti Yojana’ (Settlement Adoption Scheme) was being implemented. It was renamed ‘Swachh Mumbai Prabodhan Abhiyan’ in 2013, Chahal added.
Transport Minister Anil Parab said the Swachh Mumbai Prabodhan Abhiyan should be revamped and its scope be widened to enable it reach all in the city.
Stressing the need to reduce Covid-19 death rate in the city, Thackeray urged the civic officials to provide security and safety equipment to private doctors and hospitals in their respective wards. NGOs should send suspected patients to hospitals in time for treatment, he added.
Despite Dharavi’s ‘recovery’, Mumbai continues to be a huge concern with 5,064 fatalities and 87,856 cases, the highest in the country, overtaking China.