Mumbai sees rise in vehicular traffic due to ‘Mission Begin Again’
Slow-moving traffic was reported in some stretches of the western and eastern express highways. Traffic slowed down outside the vegetable market on Sion-Panvel road and other areas in the suburbs on Monday morning.Updated: Jun 01, 2020 13:27 IST
An increase in movement of private vehicles was witnessed on the roads of Mumbai on Monday morning as the state government eased some Covid-19-related restrictions and extended the lockdown across Maharashtra till June 30.
Slow-moving traffic was reported in some stretches of the western and eastern express highways. Traffic slowed down outside the vegetable market on Sion-Panvel road and other areas in the suburbs on Monday morning.
This came after chief minister Uddhav Thackeray announced “Mission Begin Again”on Sunday night.
From June 5, all markets, market areas and shops, except malls and market complexes, will be allowed to function on an odd-even basis from 9am to 5pm, the Maharashtra government’s guidelines said. This was also seen as one of the reasons for the increase in vehicular traffic as shopkeepers began to venture out for stocks.
“The nakabandi is underway. We anticipate that traffic will further increase from June 3,” said additional commissioner of police (traffic) Pravin Padwal.
From June 3, the state has said outdoor physical activities such as cycling, running, jogging and the use of beaches, parks, playgrounds, gardens and promenades will be allowed from 5am to 7pm.
Lack of public transport and the need to maintain social distance has resulted in more citizens taking their vehicles out on the roads.
“We are allowing essential services, which includes goods carriers such as tempos and trucks. Local trains are shut while BEST buses are running at half capacity and hence, we expect that the use of private vehicles may increase,” said Padwal.
People took to Twitter to report the increase in traffic. “Unlock 1 started bit early for Mumbai. Mumbai highway started seeing traffic again,” wrote a user.
Some people raised concerns that this may lead to a rise in coronavirus infections, while some said that doctors and nurses and those working for essential services may get affected by the traffic.
All markets, market areas and shops, except malls and market complexes, have been allowed to open on “P1-P2” basis between 9am and 5pm. Shops in one lane will be allowed to open on odd dates while those in another lane be opened on even dates. The government notification, however, warned that failure to observe social distancing norms by such shops and markets will lead to the closure of such commercial establishments immediately.