Centre may open up Port Trust, mill land to tackle emergency

BJP delegation presents demands to Union ministers

The Centre is considering a request to open up its land parcels to set up emergency COVID-19-related infrastructure in the financial capital.

Union Shipping Minister Mansukh Lal Mandaviya and Textile Minister Smriti Irani have both agreed to open up land belonging to the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) and mill land owned by the National Textile Corporation (NTC) for emergency measures to combat the evolving pandemic in Mumbai.

A delegation of senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders on Monday met Central ministers in New Delhi to present a charter of demands including opening up Central land parcels for the construction of quarantine, isolation and treatment facilities. The delegation, led by former cabinet minister Ashish Shelar and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis among others, said they have forwarded the in-principle approval notes from the two minsters to the State government, expecting a directive soon.

“The Shipping Ministry has agreed to process all such demands (open their land) once they formally receive them from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and State. The textile minister has also immediately agreed to take up any such request for making available suitable NTC mill land for creation of quarantine, isolation and treatment facilities,” said Mr. Shelar.

Last week, the Maharashtra government met Indian Army and local administration officials to identify open spaces and grounds that could be taken over for constructing quarantine facilities. Sources in the government said two locations are in the suburbs while one is in the island city.

“We are prepared to tackle the coronavirus. But if the number of positive patients goes up and an emergency situation arrives, we have identified three places in Mumbai where we can start isolation wards immediately for patients: Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon, another Ground at Worli, and the Convention Centre at the Bandra Kurla Complex,” Cabinet Minister and Mumbai Guardian Minister Aslam Sheikh had said after the meeting.

JJ Hospital, GT Hospital and St. George hospital had 500 extra beds, he said.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 8:29:25 PM |

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