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AAP slams Sena over ‘outright corruption in BMC’

After BMC staffer issued fake letters to exempt international passengers from quarantine

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) slammed the Shiv Sena-ruled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) after its staffer was caught for issuing fake letters on private hospital letterheads to international passengers landing in the city, for exemption from institutional quarantine.

“We are shocked and terrified at the extent of rot in the administration. Not only is this outright corruption in the BMC, but it actually puts us all at risk, in the middle of the pandemic. We demand a high-level probe and resignations of all the officers concerned”, said AAP Mumbai prabhari Preeti Sharma Menon.

On January 16, BMC filed an FIR against sub-engineer Dinesh Gawande at Sahar police station. He was to scrutinise passengers arriving from the UK, Europe, Middle East and South Africa. Officials said Gawande allegedly charged two passengers Rs10,000 for letters from a private hospital. Gawande is with the town planning department, but was posted at the airport on Covid-19 duty.

AAP demanded that details of all international passengers who were exempted from the quarantine be checked. “Even a pandemic didn’t deter corruption. It proves the BMC is a cesspool of corruption and clearly the staffer could not have acted of his own accord,” added Sharma Menon.

In December last year, BMC had issued guidelines for passengers arriving from Europe and the Middle East, stating that passengers have to undergo seven-days’ compulsory institutional quarantine at designated hotels. All passengers in institutional quarantine will have to be in seven days’ home quarantine if their test reports are negative on the seventh day and they are allowed to go home.

Women in the advanced stage of pregnancy, those with deaths in the immediate family and seriously ill patients were exempted from institutional quarantine, after scrutiny at the airport.

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