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Monday, May 17, 2021

Mumbai: Most city streets empty, but crowding in interior roads

Non-essential shops were operating during the day in markets located right outside railway stations like Chembur, Ghatkopar, Kurla, Sion, GTB Nagar, Wadala, Sewree, Grant road, Mumbai Central and Dadar. Crowding was also witnessed in markets at Bhoiwada and Worli.

Written by Jayprakash S Naidu | Mumbai |
April 17, 2021 1:49:01 am
Thane railway station on Friday. (Express photo by Deepak Joshi)

While the lockdown-like restrictions in Mumbai have drastically decreased the number of people out and about in the city, many are still taking advantage of the exemptions and the soft touch of the administration to step outside without having any apparent urgent need to do so. Also, many non-essential shops are open.

A senior police officer said on Friday, “Unlike last year’s total lockdown, there are no restrictions on public transport this year. Even private vehicles are allowed so people take out their cars for every small reason. Further, markets selling food and fruits are open. This is making it difficult for us to crack down on people violating curfew rules.”

In the evening, many people were seen at Shivaji Park taking a stroll, jogging and exercising. Some were even found playing at the Shivaji park ground though it’s supposed to be shut. Many were sitting and chatting around the ground. A few people were also seen at Bandra’s Carter road jogging and cycling.

Non-essential shops were operating during the day in markets located right outside railway stations like Chembur, Ghatkopar, Kurla, Sion, GTB Nagar, Wadala, Sewree, Grant road, Mumbai Central and Dadar. Crowding was also witnessed in markets at Bhoiwada and Worli.

Around 2.30 pm, over 12 non-essential shops selling shoes, bags and cellphones were found open on the road next to Kurla (West) station and nearby Takiya ward area. The Kurla police station is only a stone’s throw away from there but the traders still took the risk.

When contacted, Senior Inspector Shashank Shelke of Kurla police station said he would take action. He later said that three persons have been fined. Around 5.30 pm on Mohammed Ali road, all non-essential shops were shut. But as the holy month of Ramzan is on, dramatically opposite scenes were seen in some gullies of the road.

Several hundred people were seen shopping for food and fruits, especially at Ghogari mohalla in Null Bazaar and Ibrahim Mohammed Merchant road next to Minara masjid. Both Null Bazaar and Merchant road are along the Mohammad Ali road.

To ensure the crowd does not swell further, the local Pydhonie police barricaded the road outside both the areas. A senior officer said,
“As all of them are fasting, we are allowing them to buy food. But after 8 pm, we will not allow even food stalls to operate. We are trying our best to avoid a crowd.”

Across from Mohammed Ali road, a complete shut down was witnessed in high footfall areas of Crawford market, Manish market, Kalbadevi, Zaveri Bazaar and Bhuleshwar.

Further, the partial lockdown has helped the police to drastically decrease crowd in areas where usually thousands of people are seen. For example, Dadar, Mahim, Sion, Dharavi, Kurla and Ghatkopar were hardly as crowded as usual.

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