A day after Commissioner of Mumbai Police Hemant Nagrale took out an awareness campaign for colour-coded identity stickers for different categories of vehicles exempted from restrictions, there was a rush at Dahisar and Mulund toll nakas for the stickers while a parallel market also began.
Many motorists at nakas, who rushed to collect stickers, sought clarity about them and the categories of essential services they covered. The police are distributing the stickers free of cost at the nakas.
Police officials were seen conducting random checks on sticker-less vehicles at nakas. Officials at Dahisar toll naka and Vashi check naka said they started the day by stopping each sticker-less vehicle on the road. “But it led to huge traffic jams up to 2 km,” said an officer at Vashi check naka.
An official at Dahisar toll naka said, “Owing to huge traffic congestion in the morning, we decided to allow all vehicles to pass and conducted random checks.”
Saying that there would be congestion due to checks, Deputy Commissioner of Police Somnath Gharge (traffic) said they have allotted a kilometer-long channel for red sticker vehicles for medical emergency services like ambulances, doctors, nurses and those supplying medicines and medical related services. “These channels will help them skip the congestion,” he said.
Gharge added that the system was implemented for convenience and deterrence. “Convenience for people who belong to the essential service category, and deterrence for the ones roaming without any reason,” he added.
Police inspector Suresh Rokade of Dahisar police station, who was surrounded by motorists asking for stickers, said they were maintaining a register and noting the names and details of recipients to ensure that the stickers are not misused.
Another police officer at the nakabandi in the western suburbs said, “Several people approached us for stickers. We have run out of yellow stickers as many people fall in this category.”
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