The days of stopping vendors and visitors at the gate may be over
MUMBAI: As Unlock 1.0 begins, housing societies across the city are taking their first tentative steps to opening up. While restrictions on outsiders continue to be in place, several societies are allowing technicians, plumbers, electricians and delivery persons with mandatory checks. Thermal screening and Aarogya Setu app are a must at many places now. But allowing maids, shifting of tenants and flat renovation work before monsoon remain grey areas as the state’s ‘Mission Begin Again’ document is silent on these aspects.
The managing committee of Prathamesh Residency in Andheri has decided to allow maids and drivers inside the society from June 8. Outsiders will be allowed to use only the visitors’ elevator, said managing committee member Ruiee Kapoor. A separate toilet also has been allotted for drivers and security personnel, she added. However, the society is yet to include guests in their new normal. For residents, use of masks and sanitiser during entry and exit is a must. “Though the government has relaxed the lockdown norms, we all need to be doubly vigilant now,” she said.
At another gated community near Jacob’s Circle, rules that prevented residents from stepping out without prior permission from the ‘Covid-19 committee’ in the housing society have been relaxed.
Some socs limit visitors, others use thermal screening
Residents can now freely return to work, visit a bank, or step out for medicines without seeking approval, in line with the state government’s recent decision to “unlock” .
At another society in Versova, technicians are being allowed entry into flats to fix broken appliances, but not without the society management’s permission. “Forms with the technician’s details have to be filled up a day in advance and submitted to the management. If the form is approved, the technician needs to undergo thermal screening and a check on the Aarogya Setu app on his arrival. “The security guard clicks his picture and posts it on the society’s WhatsApp group. A designated volunteer then steps down and goes through the ID and address proof submitted by the technician,” said Priya Ram, a resident. The volunteer then logs onto the BMC’s website to ensure the technician’s residence is not in a containment zone. The resident has to ensure the technician wears a mask and gloves. The society has capped the number of handymen at four a day.
The residents of Lodha Amara in Thane recently received an update on the new set rules. Thermal screening at the main gate is mandatory for every individual entering, said secretary of one of the clusters, Siddharth Gaikwad. The complex is taking extra care to clean frequently touched surfaces, he added.
Rajeev Saxena, chairman of the Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association’s Covid taskforce, said thermal screening, masks and sanitizing have become mandatory at most housing societies, while some have even procured pulse oximeters. As societies are still divided on the issue of allowing maids, the association has written to the government seeking clarity. “Though the Mission Begin Again document allows selfemployed people into the society, domestic helps are not mentioned. Some societies have interpreted domestic helps as self-employed and are allowing them, but many are still awaiting government guidelines. We have been getting 15-20 calls daily seeking clarity on the issue,” said Saxena. The association has requested the government to come out with clear guidelines on entry of maids, shifting of tenants and flat renovation work.