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Haryana

MCG to take over halls, clubs if cases surge

July 05, 2020 05:46 AM

COURTESY HT JULY 5

MCG to take over halls, clubs if cases surge
Kartik Kumar

kartik.kumar@htlive.com

Gurugram : The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) has identified at least 1,360 properties, which include banquet halls, clubs, hotels, guest houses, paying guest accommodations, hostels and religious institutions as potential sites for establishing isolation centres, officials said Saturday.

On June 17, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar had directed officials in Gurugram to identify potential sites that can be used as isolation centres if cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) disease surge and number of hospital beds fall short.

In this regard, the MCG had held a meeting with officials of the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) on Monday and the district education department at its Sector 34 office to identify large-scale properties across the city that can be used for setting up isolation centres.

Subsequently, officials of the MCG’s tax department were tasked with identifying such properties.

Based on its property tax data from March 31, a copy of which is with Hindustan Times, the MCG has identified 64 banquet halls, 57 clubs, 174 hotels, 321 stand-alone hostels, PGs, guest houses, and 744 religious and charitable institutions in the city.

The list also includes 5,055 institutional properties such as schools, universities, and government buildings.

“Aside from the 1,360 properties, we are also estimating that the city has more than 2,000 colleges and schools that can also be used for isolation purposes. However, we are working towards figuring out the exact number. We realised that logistically, we cannot approach owners of all such buildings individually. Hence, we will be using the assistance of resident welfare associations (RWA) to help identify properties that aren’t located in congested, narrow lanes, are based at secluded spots and can accommodate at least 25-30 beds,” said an official privy to the matter, requesting anonymity.

The official further said that once identified, both the RWA and the MCG will approach owners of such establishments to lease their properties for setting up isolation centres.

Surender Singh, MCG additional commissioner, said that of the 174 hotels, isolation centres are being set up in 93.

“We will be setting up isolation centres in two stages. In the first stage, we will be offering isolation in hotels only,” said Singh.

“In the eventuality that cases tally surges further and hotels also run short on beds, only then we will activate the second stage which includes PGs, guest houses, hostels, schools, colleges, and religious institutions as isolation centres. We have essentially taken pre-emptive measures by creating a database of places that can be quickly turned into isolation centres to ensure the city does not encounter shortage of beds,” Singh added

Singh said that he has held meetings with a large number of PG, guest houses, schools, colleges, and religious institution owners, who came forward for the initiative this week. He said that he has asked them to submit a seven-point checklist in this regard.

“We have asked them to give details such as the total number of beds that can be accommodated in their building, types of entry and exit, whether they have toilets, water connection, electricity connection, among other such issues to create a database for the future,” said Singh.

He added that he has directed the zonal taxation officers (ZTOs) to approach banquet hall owners and also present them with the seven-point checklist. In addition, he also said that the MCG has created a helpline number-1950-from where Covid-19 patients can seek details on isolation facilities.

Last month, Vivek Kalia, nodal officer, hospital and ventilator management, had projected that if the number of Covid-19 cases in the city reaches one lakh in August, Gurugram would require at least 37,000 beds and more than 2,000 ventilators.

On June 15, Sonal Goel, the nodal officer for facilities and bed management in hospitals, at a meeting with Haryana government officials had said that the city currently has a total of 4,314 beds and 329 ventilators.

The MCG has also tied-up with RWAs for setting up home isolation centres within their plotted colonies, societies, and condominiums. Until June 26, 19 RWAs had set up such a facility in their respective areas.

Aside from this, in assistance with local RWAs, the MCG is also in the process of establishing a 75-bed isolation facility at a community centre in sector 27 that can accommodate Covid-19 patients that need oxygen support.

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