“The use of mask has been made mandatory for all citizens when they move out of their house. To encourage use of masks, the PMC has started distributing them to citizens in containment zone,” said Sunil Indalkar, deputy municipal commissioner and in-charge of central stores department of PMC.
The civic body had initially appealed to people and corporates to donate masks to PMC. “We have so far received 2.5 lakh masks and distributed around 1.5 lakh in containment zone through respective ward offices,” Indalkar said, adding that ward offices have been asked to keep detail information on distribution of masks and submit reports every day.
The PMC has floated tenders for procuring around 12 lakh masks. Indalkar said, “The civic administration has also engaged women self help groups (SHGs) to prepare masks…It not only helps the civic body procure more masks, but also ensures income source for the women SHGs.”
Some garment companies have also offered to supply masks to PMC at cheap rates. Indalkar said it was helping garment units to earn at the time of lockdown.
The elected representatives of PMC have been urging the civic administration to purchase masks from ward development funds of their respective area and distribute them among residents in their respective areas.
The PMC has been procuring masks made of cotton clothes. “At present, three layer and two layer masks are being procured. We will also procure single layer masks as some people prefer them over layered ones due to better breathing through them,” he said, adding that multiple agencies will be engaged in supplying masks to PMC.
Meanwhile, the PMC has continued the distribute grocery kit to each household in slums in containment zone. “The grocery kits are only for slum dwellers in containment zone. The quantity is enough to last for eight days,” said Indalkar.
The PMC has directed closure of all shops in containment zone till May 17.