Ban on travel beyond 2km was necessary, says Maharashtra CMUpdated: Jun 30, 2020 01:30 IST
Although the Mumbai Police’s new order, prohibiting citizens from venturing beyond the 2-km radius of their homes, led to confusion and anger among many, the state on Monday said it was a necessary step.
On Sunday, the police’s guidelines stated citizens can travel beyond 2km only if they have to go to work or in case of any emergency. The police also warned of action against those violating the rule.
Chief minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray said the motive behind the rule was to keep uncontrolled and unnecessary crowding on roads in check.
“People in Mumbai and MMR [Mumbai Metropolitan Region] are seen venturing out of their homes without any reason, leading to crowding and traffic jams. This is not expected [of the citizens] when the Covid-19 outbreak is at its peak and [such acts] will hamper the efforts that have helped us in keeping the spread of virus under control in the state. Newer challenges will be posed before us in such a scenario and [thus] the steps taken by the Mumbai Police are necessary in larger interest,” Thackeray
According to state government officials, there were no specific directives given to the Mumbai Police to impose these restrictions. “The steps were taken using the powers given to them through the notifications issued from time to time. It is true that the diktat created a lot of confusion and led to chaos, but it was necessary. Had they created necessary awareness among citizens, the confusion could have been avoided,” said a state government official.
Meanwhile on Monday, despite the police’s action against motorists a day earlier, many vehicles continued to ply on roads, leading to traffic snarls in several areas.
The Mumbai Police conducted nakabandi at 137 places across the city and checked 30,072 vehicles , leading to further traffic woes.
The western and eastern express highways, the arterial roads leading to Mumbai from Vashi, and other main roads in the suburbs witnessed traffic jams till afternoon.
“We are checking vehicles across the city and impounding those that have been taken out without any valid reason or documents,” said Madhukar Pandey, joint commissioner of police (traffic).
In the past 24 hours, Mumbai Police along with the traffic department have impounded 14,691 vehicles.
Senior inspector Mahendra Nerlekar of Jogeshwari police station said, “People are roaming unnecessarily. Some said they thought the lockdown is over. When we stop them, they say that they are going to office or to a hospital to meet their kin, but fail to show us the papers, owing to which we are forced to act against them,” Nerlekar said.
(Inputs from Manish Pathak)