As the number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra continues to rise, Mumbai-based developers have offered their properties to state authorities to combat the crisis. Top names such as the Hiranandani Group and Godrej Properties have offered their unsold and semi-constructed units to the BMC, reported Livemint. The civic body is yet to accept help from builders as the focus so far has largely been on increasing beds at hospitals.
“Many developers have come forward and offered inventory to the government for isolating people, if required. We have offered two presently vacant properties in Thane to the municipal corporation.”Niranjan Hiranandani, Co-founder and Managing Director, Hiranandani Group to Livemint
Mumbai Mirror reported that Raja Builders, a developer from Santacruz, offered the use of six floors of the company’s commercial building to house migrant labourers. The space could reportedly house 700 persons. This comes at a time when thousands of daily wage workers have been forced to walk back home from the city as railway services have been completely halted.
“Some real estate developers have offered vacant properties, mostly slum rehabilitation projects, to develop isolation facilities for migrant workers and the poor. The plan to use these facilities for isolation is in the works. This forms part of the larger plan to scale up isolation and quarantine centres if the number of cases go up,” BMC commissioner Praveen Pardeshi told Livemint.
While using unsold apartments and commercial spaces could be a solution, it would, however, be difficult to convert unfinished residential and commercial units into quarantine units or even spaces to house migrant labourers as most of these buildings don’t have water and electricity connections.
Maharashtra has recorded 537 COVID-19 cases so far with at least 26 deaths due to the coronavirus.