If you are an international flyer who has just landed at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai, according to the rules, you must be either home-quarantined or would have to undergo institutional quarantine. If you are flying in from countries/regions like UK, Europe, Middle East and South Africa, you will be quarantined in an institute for a minimum of seven days. However, do not worry! The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has got you all covered. In case you do not feel in the mood to be locked up in quarantine for seven days, a sum of Rs. 10,000 to Rs,15,000 can buy you all the freedom you need.
A massive scam has reportedly come to light from the financial capital of India – Mumbai, where international travellers are evading institutional quarantine with the help of some corrupt BMC officials. According to an investigation by mid-day, a newspaper publication, a handful of civic officials deployed at the international airport seem to be actively contributing to the explosion of daily cases which are now over 11,000. For only Rs 10,000-Rs 12,000, these staffers are letting passengers from foreign lands escape the compulsory seven-day institutional quarantine.
Mid-day came across many passengers evading the mandatory quarantine with the help of BMC officials in Mumbai through an elaborate arrangement to make their exit from the airport look perfectly compliant with all norms. During the course of the investigation, while tailing multiple international flyers from the airport to their respective hotels where they were supposed to be kept for institutional quarantine, it was found that post-check-in, these foreign travellers departed to their homes. The investigation also found that BMC officials who are tasked with keeping a tab on the status of supposed individuals who have been quarantined have a rather elaborate ‘setting’ with the hotels and get paid handsomely to turn a blind eye to the illegalities.
As per civic guidelines, put up on BMC’s portal, international passengers above 65 years of age needing support, pregnant women, parents with children below five years, people having a serious illness and those who landed in the city in extreme family distress conditions are permitted home isolation. All other flyers must undergo institutional quarantine for seven days, says the SOP. However, the BMC does not seem much concerned about such guidelines, and for a sufficient amount, is allowing almost anybody to escape institutional quarantine.
It is no surprise that a Covid-explosion has struck the state of Maharashtra. With such scant enforcement of rules, the alleged corruption and ineptitude of the BMC are contributing to an unprecedented spike in Covid-cases not just in Maharashtra, but across the country. For their alleged corruption, ordinary citizens’ livelihoods are once again getting affected detrimentally, as an even more inept state government announces fresh curbs across Maharashtra. The BMC officials involved in such criminalities deserve to be locked up and dealt with severely for compromising India’s fight against the Chinese pandemic.