Convert properties at Lavasa into COVID-19 facilities: BJP MP

Pune: BJP Lok Sabha member from Pune Girish Bapat has demanded that some properties including a private hospital in Lavasa hill city here in Maharashtra be converted into COVID-19 facilities for patients from nearby areas.

The demand, however, has been opposed by Lavasa residents and they have written a letter to the Pune district collector expressing their apprehensions.

Bapat, in his letter to Pune collector last week, said the number of cases in Mulshi tehsil (under which Lavasa comes) is increasing and patients have to come to Pune city for the treatment.

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“Patients have to go through hardships and difficulties by coming to Pune and find beds. The administration has taken control of several private properties and establishments like hotels, hospitals, schools, colleges and converted them into COVID facilities in Pune. Similarly, facilities with additional beds can be created in Lavasa city,” Bapat stated in the letter.

He further said the Apollo Hospital in Lavasa, hotels and other private properties there are currently empty and can be used to set up COVID-19 facilities for patients from adjoining villages.

Bapat asked the district administration to take control of those properties for further steps.

Talking to reporters on Thursday, the BJP leader said he would take up the issue during the meeting with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in Pune.

Meanwhile, a residents’ group from Lavasa objected to the demand and wrote a letter to the district administration.

“Unfortunately, some political attempts are being initiated to convert the Apollo Hospital, Christ University, Dasve School and some other properties in Lavasa into COVID-19 shelters without realising that Lavasa is a complete green zone with no infection so far,” said the letter signed by Suresh Goswami, on behalf of the association of residents, shopkeepers and operators of various facilities there.

The letter further said the protection and precautions taken by 6,000-plus residents have been been remarkable in maintaining Lavasa as one of the very few coronavirus-free zones in Maharashtra.

“Amongst us, we have hundreds of senior citizens, thousands of children and villagers, therefore, the majority of the population is vulnerable to this virus,” Goswami said.

He also pointed out that access to treatment and care is non-existing in the hill city and there is no cremation or burial facility in Lavasa.

“In addition, this detrimental attempt will certainly be another setback to the ongoing matters before NCLT and Lavasa will be left with no bidders under the circumstances,” he said.

“Therefore we, the residents of Lavasa, strongly protest against attempts to bring thousands of COVID-19 patients to Lavasa, turning this place into a containment spot. We request you to take this matter very seriously and ensure the safety of Lavasa and its residents,” he said.

The Lavasa Corporation has been undergoing corporate insolvency resolution process before the national Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

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