Mumbai comes to a halt for Sena chief’s funeral
The city that never sleeps paused for Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's last rites on Sunday. HT reports.mumbai Updated: Nov 19, 2012 00:53 IST
As most residents stayed indoors on Sunday, many had to make do without many essential commodities and entertainment channels.
“This is the first bandh I have seen where milk vans didn’t run and even medical shops were shut in several areas,” said Nikhil Desai, a Dadar resident and member of an advanced locality management of the area.
Roads continued to look deserted for the second day and commuters had a tough time travelling within the city as taxis and autorickshaws remained off roads. “None of the taxis were operating,” said AL Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai Taximen’s Union.
Suburban trains and BEST buses were the only respite for a majority of Mumbaiites.
Both Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR) cancelled the routine maintenance block. CR operated 14 and 9 special suburban trains between Dadar-Kalyan and CST – Belapur section respectively from 4.45pm to 10pm to accommodate the crowds that attended Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s funeral.
A total of 11 BEST buses were damaged since Saturday at various locations such as Mulund, Ghatkopar, Kamothe, Sion and Worli. However, the BEST undertaking operated more than 40 extra buses from Mumbai Central, CST, Kurla terminus and airport to Shivaji Park and on other routes.
Many residents were hit as vegetable markets remained shut, and packaged food was their only resort. “My roommate and I have been living on instant noodles since Saturday night, as no restaurants were delivering food,” said Stuti Srivastava, a Lower Parel resident.
“We shut down the vegetable market on Saturday afternoon and remained closed on Sunday,” said Shankar Pingle, director, Agriculture Produce Market Committee, Navi Mumbai, adding that the wholesale vegetable market will function on Monday.
For most residents, television viewing was restricted only to news and sports channels as several cable operators switched off signals for entertainment channels.
“We received more than 300 complaints through the day, but we had no choice,” said Vishwanath Girkar, a cable operator from Kalachowkie.
Medical services were not affected. “While most private doctors keep their dispensaries closed on Sundays, all hospitals were functioning and many chemist shops remained open,” said Dr Jayesh Lele, state secretary, Indian Medical Association.