The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has requested the MCA seeking immediate handover of Wankhede Stadium to convert it into a quarantine facility for high-risk contacts of COVID-19 patients in the city. As per the reports of The Hindu, in a letter issued to MCA officials on Friday, the BMC sought “immediate handover” of the stadium.
The letter, issued by Chanda R. Jadhav, assistant commissioner of A ward, said, “The premises will be used for the emergency staff of A ward and quarantining people who have come in contact with COVID-19 patients and are not symptomatic.”
Confirming the receipt of the letter, MCA secretary Sanjay Naik said the board is ready for complete cooperation and they are awaiting further instructions from the assistant commissioner. With pre-monsoon showers expected in the city soon, the BMC is unlikely to use the ground now. However, closed-door facilities, including the press box, the president’s box, and a few corporate boxes, might be put to use.
The stadium is located in a residential area near Marine Drive and the decision to convert the stadium into a quarantine facility can have adverse effects on the people. One of the anonymous residents said, “This is very worrying for us all. We were afraid that it might come to this. But our lane is completely residential and the BMC and the government will have to ensure our safety.”
Besides the stadium, the premises house the MCA, the Board of Control for Cricket in India, and Garware Club House (GCH). Raj Purohit, vice-president of GCH, said the club hasn’t yet received any notification from the BMC. He said, “Since the club has been closed for two months now, we haven’t been able to maintain it. But if authorities still want possession, we shall obviously comply with it.”
Apart from the stadium, the BMC has already acquired a string of gymkhanas on Marine Drive to set up quarantine facilities.