After 80 days in lockdown, Mumbai unleashes Unlock 3.0

Mumbai has unleashed its semi-normal self with thousands of masked men and women stepping out with their vehicles headed to their workplaces, creating traffic snarls at many locations, as the city eases into Unlock 3.0 mode, here on Monday.

Long queues of crawling vehicles were witnessed on the Eastern Express Highway, Western Express Highway, Eastern Freeway, main roads in the city and suburbs, besides inter-district roads, as people rushed to their offices, shops or commercial establishments.

The BEST and Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) deployed a limited number of public buses which led to snaky queues of commuters waiting for long to catch a bus at bus-stops or depots, particularly in the suburbs.

Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association President Viren Shah said that many people have not been able to reach their workplaces due to shortage of buses and suburban trains are still not operational.

“Unless people can conveniently reach their workplaces, its difficult to make any estimates� The same situation could prevail in the evening when they want to return home,” Shah told IANS.

As per the latest guidelines, all shops and establishments — except those still prohibited like malls, cinemas, restaurants, barber shops and beauty parlors, etc — have been permitted to reopen on odd-even days on each side of the roads, private offices with 10 per cent staff, government offices with 15 percent staff, etc.

Travel is allowed within Divisions like Konkan, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Amravati, but inter-division or inter-state is barred except for medical emergencies.

Similar chaotic conditions were seen in adjoining Raigad, Thane and Palghar districts, besides major cities like Pune, Aurangabad, Nashik, Nagpur with hordes returning to their factories, trade and businesses or to reopen the neigbourhood shops and render services like repairs of electricals, plumbing, computers and electronics.