With autorickshaws and taxis back on the road, and offices and establishments resuming their routine business, the city slowly returned to normalcy on Monday.
By evening, the entire fleet of 35,000 black-and-yellow taxis, including cool cabs and fleet cab services, started normal operations. “Initially, we had adopted a wait-and-watch approach, but by evening business resumed,” said AL Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai Taximen’s Union.
Shop owners finally pulled up the shutters. “About 90% retail shops were open, and some were shut voluntary, and business went on as usual,” said Mohan Gurnani, president, Federation of Associations of Maharashtra, which had called wholesale marketers to observe a bandh on Monday.
Ravi Shinde, president of Petrol Dealers’ Association, said all petrol pumps were open across the city and were functioning smoothly.
However, several schools and colleges slated to re-open on Monday after a Diwali break, postponed it to Tuesday.
“We had a non-instructional day yesterday as we didn't know if it was an actual bandh. I didn't want to put my students in doubt, which is why we decided to function from Tuesday," said Marie Fernandes, principal, St Andrew's College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Bandra (West).
The recovery wasn’t glitch-free. Priyanka Kalwa, 23, a Kalanagar resident, had difficulty finding an autorickshaw on her way to work.
“There were very few autos plying in the area,” said Kalwa, who works in Andheri. “When I finally got one, the driver was asked to stop by a few men,” she said.
Many residents even claimed of being forced to shell out more for fruits and vegetables. “I was charged Rs20 for 1kg onions, whereas usually they charge Rs. 12,” said Sanjana Rane, a Parel resident. “ I had to pay double the amount for tomatoes, which is usually Rs. 10 per kg.”
Gurnani said though he was aware of vendors overcharging for fruits and vegetables on Sunday, he had not heard of such cases on Monday.