Wankhede Stadium not be used as Covid19 quarantine facility

After local residents opposed the move, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Sunday cancelled its plan to turn Wankhede Stadium into a quarantine facility.

The Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Chahal today tried to put to rest the Wankhede stadium issue.
While speaking to journalists at Sion Hospital, Chahal said, “I have no idea how this news about Wankhede came about as there are rains expected soon in the city. Having an open ground for patients is not possible. With rains it is only going to be muddy. If it gets flooded then taking up ground can not be a good option. We are not taking any stadium for construction of quarantine facility.”
In a letter issued to the Mumbai Cricket Association on Friday, the BMC had sought immediate handover of the stadium for housing asymptomatic high-risk contacts and emergency staff of ‘A’ Ward. Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar visited Wankhede Stadium on Saturday and even tweeted that it would be used to house asymptomatic positive patients, considering the increasing number of cases.

However, local residents started opposing the move and the Marine Drive Residents’ Association wrote a letter in this regard to Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta. Assistant municipal commissioner of ‘A’ ward Chanda Jadhav confirmed that the plan was cancelled after the complaints.

Municipal Commissioner Chahal, while speaking to mediapersons during his visit to Sion hospital on Sunday expressed surprise at news reports, leading to speculation on how the letter was issued in the first place.

Chahal said, “I am surprised about Wankhede news reports. I had already taken a decision last week, I don’t know where the news is coming from. I am surprised because the CM had ordered me that setting up facilities in open grounds will lead to a lot of issues during the monsoon, as there will be muck. There are so many parking facilities which can be used including parking lots of airports, Palladium mall, multi-level parking lots. When we have all these, why should we erect these huge pandals on grounds, especially with monsoon around the corner? So there is no such consideration and no stadium will be taken. Open grounds are not a good option.”

“We have not heard from BMC since the letter,” said Sanjay Naik, Secretary of MCA after Sunday’s development.