The Gautam Buddha Nagar administration may have redefined the containment zone rules — sealing only the tower instead of an entire housing society in case of a single Covid-19 case — many housing societies claim the 500-meter radius containment norm in case of more than one coronavirus case is unreasonable.
The Noida RWA, an umbrella body, said, such ‘sealing spree’ might end up sealing the entire Noida and was detrimental to residents’ right to earn a living.
The Noida District Magistrate announced new guidelines for the containment zone on Tuesday evening.
Soon after that the Amrapali Silicon City RWA tweeted: “Much appreciated Sir, from 2100 families of Silicon City, sector 76. Kindly instruct Noida Police for implementation. We are sealed…complete society, just today evening by them.”
Only a day earlier, the police faced angry residents of Supertech Ecovillage One in the Greater Noida area. The residents objected to the entire society being sealed after three members of a family tested coronavirus positive.
According to a video of the face-off, which has gone viral, a resident is heard complaining that they will die of hunger. Too this unexpected protest, the cops are heard saying, “We’re doing our job. It’s a government job. We work for 24 hours and get paid for 12 hours.”
The problem stems from the unique nature of residential areas in Noida. In an area like Sector 37, the 500-meter radius will cover only a handful of houses. But in high-rises, like Amrapali Silicon City and Supertech Eco Village, a number of towers will get covered as per the rule.
Piyush, a resident of a Sector 74 society, said, “Here, 5-6 towers may come in the 500-meter radius. In my tower alone, there are 100 families. Think of the number of people who will be affected, even if the containment zone is implemented in accordance with the new SOP (standard operating procedure).”
To revive economy, the Centre has eased movement and allowed rail and flight operations and opening of offices and industries. But most residents of Noida high-rises are upset with the local administration’s sealing norms. Many fear they may end up losing jobs as only essential services personnel are allowed to move in or out of a containment zone.
Such is the anxiety that when on May 24 a Covid-19 case was reported at Supertech Capetown of Noida, the society’s RWA WhatsApp groups reflected anger, agitation, distress and confusion as the RWA was told the entire society would be sealed.
However, by Wednesday afternoon and after much online protests from many societies from across Gautam Buddha Nagar, the Supertech Capetown got lucky as the administration decided to seal only one tower, in which the patient lived.
“What if another case comes up? It will mean the livelihood of hundreds will be at stake as the containment zone radius would be widened,” said Arun, a resident.
Yogendra Sharma, President of the Noida Residents Welfare Association, said a simple thing for a low-rise sector was a complex issue for a multi-story society. “Covid-19 is here to stay for a while. If we go on a sealing spree, the entire Noida will end up under seal.”