To Be, or Not To Be, That’s SMC’s Quarantine Question


After drawing flak over what netizens denounce as “fumigation photo-opts”, Srinagar Municipal Corporation is now caught in contradictory statements over self-quarantine orders.

Srinagar: At a time when its ground staff is actively carrying out the disinfection drive to keep the novel coronavirus at bay, Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) is witnessing a clear confusion in its higher ranks regarding the recent development.

SMC Commissioner and Mayor seem to be at the loggerheads over an order issued to corporators and staffers of the corporation to go under self-quarantine after a corporator’s brother tested positive for coronavirus last week.

While SMC Commissioner, Gazanfar Ali on Monday said that no order asking officials to go for home quarantine have been issued or received by his office, the Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu had a different story to narrate.

In a 44-second video released from his residence, Mattu said that the brother of one of their colleagues in SMC has tested positive for the novel coronavirus and as an extra added level of precaution, nearly 50 corporators, some employees and staff members of SMC have been ordered into self-isolation and quarantine till the specific corporator tests negative.

“This is to reiterate and underline that the law is the same for everyone. No one is above the law. And as representatives of the people, we are committed to adhering to these laws and advisories 100 percent,” he said.

When contacted, SMC Commissioner Gazanfar Ali told Kashmir Observer Tuesday that several employees of the Mayor, including his private secretary, PRO and other staffers have gone for home quarantine. However, he quickly added that his office has not asked any employee to go for home quarantine.

“I don’t know what Mayor has said. I know of my office and I have given my statement about it. Corporators go to Mayor’s building; they have no dealing with us. We have two separate buildings,” Ali said.

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