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Maharashtra bandh: People struggle in Thane, Navi Mumbai as protesters block roads, tracks

Mumbaiites struggle to get to work on Wednesday morning, forced to walk as Maratha agitators stop autos, buses from plying.

mumbai Updated: Jul 25, 2018 14:31 IST
Maharashtra bandh,Mumbai bandh,People struggle
Protesters block the busy Sion-Panvel highway at Vashi on Wednesday.(Bachchan Kumar)

Fifty-eight-year-old Shammit Shah, a cancer patient, had a harrowing time on Wednesday morning getting to Bethany Hospital in Thane, which is five km from the station, for treatment.

After a long wait outside Thane station, Shah and his son managed to get an auto only after some passersby noticed that Shah was travelling with a tube in his nose and forced protesters to let them use an auto.

“We are residents of Bangladesh and came to India two months ago for my treatment. I was not aware of the bandh today and had to wait for a long time.”

Like Shah, many commuters are struggling because of the bandh imposed by Maratha groups across Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai.

Another commuter Archana Mulick, 38, waited for over an hour for an auto at Gaondevi market in Thane. “After finally getting an auto, protesters assaulted the auto driver and forcefully stopped the vehicle so I had to walk all the way home,” she said.

The intensity of the bandh is more severe in Navi Mumbai, according to the bandh organisers, as the Maratha community has dominant pockets in the city. Akash Patil, 32, a commuter in Vashi, said: “Auto-rickshaws are not plying here. My office is in Vashi’s sector 19, around four km from the station. I have no option but to walk.”

Shekhar Desai, 24, a resident of CBD Belapur, said he walked to the station from home. “Then I found that train services are also affected. It is going to be difficult to reach my office in Thane on time as there are disruptions at Thane station too,” he said.

Parents of students who have gone to school in Navi Mumbai were worried. Several schools, such as Ryan International in Sanpada and North Point School in Kopar Khairane, have told parents that their school buses will not run and that parents have to pick up their children from school.

Monali Kutani, 28, a resident of Kopar Khairane, said: “My child is in school, and I am worried as protestors have blocked the main road. How will the school bus bring him back? I will have to somehow try and go to school and get him home safely.”

First Published: Jul 25, 2018 12:06 IST