Mumbai may witness stricter traffic curbs amid Covid-19. Here’s why
It may not be easy to take your cars out yet in Mumbai as the state government has reiterated that strict lockdown-like restrictions will continue throughout Maharashtra until Covid-19 cases subside substantially. The state government has warned that vehicular restrictions may become even stricter if traffic jams continue amid the ongoing lockdown.
Expressing concerns over heavy vehicular traffic in Mumbai, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Monday, "I myself cross-checked my speech made last night. I did not say that Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted."
The lockdown-like curbs in the state has been extended till June 15. The restrictions may be relaxed in coming days depending on the Covid-19 positivity rate and availability of oxygen beds.
Mumbai has been reporting several cases of traffic congestion even during the ongoing lockdown phase. Despite restrictions, several vehicles have been seen on the roads, raising concerns of a possible worsening of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
On Monday, while Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray inaugurated the trial run of Metro line between Dahanukarwadi and Aarey stations, images of traffic congestion emerged near the stations.
According to the Covid-related restrictions, no vehicles are allowed to on the roads without proper validation from the authorities. Vehicles used for essential services are exempted from this rule. Vehicles used for health emergency or vaccination drive are also allowed to operate. The Mumbai Traffic Police has also warned of heft fines in case vehicles are found flouting the Covid-19 norms.
Earlier, Mumbai Police had introduced the system of colour-coded stickers to ensure the smooth movement of vehicles engaged in emergency and essential services amid the ongoing restrictions. However, the system was recently discontinued after the move to reintroduce the e-pass system for inter-state and inter-district movement.
More than 50 lakh drivers had received challans for various traffic-related violations despite total lockdown for six months last year when the pandemic hit India.
Mumbai is one of the worst-affected cities in India in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. It continues to record more than a thousand cases every day. On Sunday, the city recorded 1,066 new cases while 22 died due to the vir.