The Maharashtra Highway Police, who have been highly deployed at the Mumbai Pune Expressway to keep vigil on vehicles other than essential services, have been deprived of masks and gloves, deemed an essential commodity amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. A senior official said, “Only 30 per cent on-duty officers have been provided with masks and sanitisers, while the others are managing with their own personal means.”
When people are seen hoarding the masks and sanitisers in the city, on-duty officers of the Maharashtra Highway Police, who are tirelessly deployed at various check posts in the city, checking for vehicles used for other than essential services, have been working without a mask and a hand sanitiser.
A senior state highway police official said, "We were not provided with adequate masks and sanitiser, which led to our policemen working with made-up handmade masks or simply covered their faces with a handkerchief to avoid contracting the virus in the line of duty. Currently, we have only 30 percent of the required material and those who can afford, are buying the same from their own money at surge prices."
The Maharashtra Highway Police have been instructed to seal all the borders accessing other states and are only allowing vehicles carrying essential services on the road. Additionally, they also have been conducting manual checks on the Mumbai-Pune expressway to stop commuters with the home quarantine seal on hands from travelling.
The decision was taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection after several citizens with a travel history to the virus-affected countries, who have been asked to follow home quarantine for 14 days, have been flouting the rule and travelling on trains or buses and even taking part in social engagements.