Amid Coronavirus precautions debate, SMC Mayor had the last laugh
Govt approves what SMC had proposed
Srinagar: Defending his decision of asking for closure of all educational institutions and public spaces in Srinagar in the wake of Coronavirus, SMC Mayor, Junaid Mattu today said that though officially there is no positive case in Kashmir, precaution is a necessary preventive measure.
Addressing a press conference, following his tweet about closure of schools and Divisional Commissioner’s negation of the statement, Mattu said that SMC had a special session yesterday and after threadbare discussions decided the closure of public gathering, schools and coaching centres.
He suggested that non-technical people shouldn’t indulge in the debate because only experts should be listened in such grave situations and ‘that is what we have done.’
The controversy began when Mayor tweeted about the closure and some journalists confronted Divisional Commissioner about the same and he almost negated it.
Mattu said that whatever SMC is suggesting under relevant laws is no politics. “These are precautionary measures. We are not in panic but the wisdom says that Kashmir’s weather and temperature is ideal for spread of the virus so we have to take 100 per cent precautions.”
However, in the evening, the government endorsed what Mayor Mattu had said.
This is a precautionary measure and “an unavoidable decision” to allow the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) to plan, sterilize and sanitize schools and colleges, Srinagar Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu said on Wednesday.
“Under a special set of statutory provisions, SMC has ordered closure of all educational institutions, public clubs, sports clubs, indoor and open stadiums, coaching centres within Srinagar city limits till further orders,” he said.
The order came after a special emergency resolution passed unanimously under the J-K Municipal Corporation Act, 2000, he said.
The mayor chaired an emergency session of the Municipal Corporation, which unanimously approved a number of emergency measures and grant of special powers to its commissioner to ensure that the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir is fully prepared, cautious and safe.
The mayor said the Corporation will procure 1,000 full quarantine body kits and spraying machines and all public as well as private hospitals will go into heightened sanitation mode.
The Corporation also ordered cancellation of all sports events within its limits and phased segregation of flea markets, including weekly markets, with an immediate effect.
It has also issued an advisory asking people to desist shopping, especially eatables and garments, from roadside vendors.
He said these directions have been necessitated due to the severity of the novel coronavirus and the importance of taking cent per cent precautions.