Ranajoy Ghosh, a resident of Bepin Behari Ganguli Street, was taken aback when he confronted a PPE-clad man at his doorstep on Thursday. The man identified himself as a Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) official who wanted to survey the structural stability of the building before the resumption of East-West Metro tunnelling in the area. Ghosh was pleasantly surprised — and satisfied — when the KMRC official produced a medical certificate that read he had tested negative for Covid-19.
Production of a Covid-19 certificate has been working as a shield for officials and workers of KMRC and Afcons Infrastructure, the construction firm engaged in the East-West Metro construction, in Bowbazar, which is one of the worst containment areas in Kolkata. According to a KMRC source, over 350 workers have tested negative in past one-and-a-half months. “We are providing our supervisors and workers PPE every time they are meeting owners of dilapidated buildings for survey. They are also carrying Covid-negative certificates,” said a source in the KMRCL.
Before resuming Metro construction from Bowbazar, KMRC and Afcons had devised a plan for keeping their workers safe. According to plans, the workers will have to remain quarantine for five days in a makeshift shelter and then go for a Covid-19 test. If a worker tests negative, he is deemed fit for the construction work. “We started preparation almost three months ago and finally succeeded in making our construction site a Covid-free zone before resuming our operations. We had to quell fears among workers who had gathered from different districts of the state,” said a KMRCL official. AK Nandy, KMRC general manager (administration), conceded that they had to adopt several precautionary measures for the workers and supervisors.
Arun Seal, an advocate who owns several old buildings on BB Ganguli Street, said if some KMRC workers produce Covid-negative certificate before entering his premises, he would welcome them. “We are really scared. We would have refused the entry of KMRC workers had they approached us without taking precautions,” Seal said. Amiya Sahoo, another BB Ganguli Street resident, said he would not let anyone in from any agencies for survey without taking adequate anti-Covid protection.
Source:Times of India