Rethink move to convert 78 Karol Bagh hotels into quarantine centres: Apex RWA body to Delhi LG, CM

New Delhi, May 8 (PTI) The apex body of resident welfare associations in Delhi on Friday urged Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to reconsider the decision to convert 78 hotels in Karol Bagh into quarantine facilities for stranded Indians returning from abroad.

United Resident Welfare Association Joint Action (URJA) President Atul Goyal in a letter to Baijal and Kejriwal said though the residents of the area 'support the decision to bring back our own citizens, yet we are concerned about our own safety and avoidable exposure to the risk of contracting the virus”.

Quarantine centres for such passengers include hotels in Aerocity and containment centers at Manesar, Narela etc. In case the number is insufficient, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority may include other four and five star properties in and around non-residential areas before converting small hotels and guest houses into quarantine facilities, he suggested.

Karol Bagh is a predominantly residential area and these 78 hotels have been functioning despite objections and protests from the residents, he said.

“It is understood that a substantial number of these hotels are functioning without valid licenses in gross violation of rules and regulations,” the URJA president said.

“The very fact these hotels are now being converted into quarantine facilities indirectly legitimises operation of these premises as hotels with or without valid approval, licenses etc,” Goyal said.

These hotels becoming quarantine facilities with hundreds of guests will definitely increase the risk of the residents contracting the virus, the URJA said.

The administrative support is scattered and it will be difficult to provide security and kitchen facilities at multiple small centres. Also, it will invite unnecessary movement of traffic within the area, it said.

“It is once requested to reconsider the decision in the larger interest of residents of Karol Bagh as well as the administration itself which is already tackling the consequences of negligent citizens who add to the government's problems and strained resources,” the letter read. PTI GVS RHL