With stricter restrictions coming into force, the island city wore a deserted look on Friday. The streets remained empty, with fewer vehicles plying most of them were either BEST buses or taxis.
Popular commercial areas like Marine Drive, Fort, Hindmata junction, Mahalaxmi, Worli and Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) remained completely empty right from Friday morning. Residents living in these areas have said that the high fatality rate in the ongoing second wave have instilled fear amongst Mumbaikars, for which people have voluntarily locked themselves up weeks before the restrictions were imposed.
Those living at the affluent neighbourhoods of Malabar Hills, Walkeshwar and Grant Road, said that locals have been following protocols strictly since April 15.
"After state government announced curbs last week, we started to curbs in our daily movement," said Ratish Deshmukh, a resident of Grant Road.
"Our ward has the highest number of cases and more than 70 percent of the population is senior citizens, we are strictly restricting the entry and exit of people in the buildings," said Deepen Yash, a Worli resident.
In market areas like Dadar and Lalbaugh, heavy crowd was seen during the morning hours. However civic officials said in the later part of the day, the crowd dispersed after police intervention.
"Most of the people came to the markets to stock up necessities, many of them were under the impression that shops will be shut if the lockdown intensifying," said a civic official.
"Many daily wage workers and vendors had come to the Dadar flower market during the morning to buy or sell products in whole sale, however we had controlled the situation on first day and will implement more staffers from tomorrow," said another official.
Meanwhile, the scenario in the suburban belt of the city was completely opposite to what it was in the island city. In areas like Andheri, Kandivli, Goregaon and Malad, business commenced like any other day.
In an inner road off a main road near Andheri railway station, there was steady and free movement of traffic, including that of autos and private vehicles, both two wheelers and four wheelers. The main road (CD Barfiwala Road) too had traffic, with honking and congestion at Barfiwala flyover traffic signal. In another residential-cum-commercial lane of VP Road off the main SV Road, locals were out on the road chatting leisurely in groups, sitting outside closed shops.
At the market areas of Borivali, Kandivli and Malad some non-essential shops and business establishments opened during the morning. However, police and civic officials asked them to down the shutters.
"Some people were seen roaming outside during the morning hours, however police officials have been patrolling the localities, this had instilled fear inside them," said Mukesh Rajput a Kandivli resident.
Streets of Badlapur and Kalyan-Dombivili, which comes in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), remained silent on the first day of state-wide lockdown imposed by Maharashtra government amid rising cases of Covid-19 once again. In Badlapur only people from essential services, and vehicles of Police and Ambulance where found otherwise the streets wore a deserted look.
In some of the satelite cities like Bhayander people were seen following rules.
Bhayandar had a deserted look on the first day of strict lockdown on Friday. A few people ventured out and were spotted at the medical shops and ATM centres. Auto rickshaws were plying less in numbers. Police vehicles were seen patrolling the roads to ensure strict lockdown is enforced.
The Indian Railways played it tough for people wanting to travel in local trains. There was strict checking seen outside most of the railway stations with ticket checking staff, RPF, GRP and Railway Officers thoroughly screening people entering the station premises. They were checking the government approved identity cards, those issued by hospitals, pharmacies and other essential agencies allowed by the Maharashtra government.
At most of the stations, there were long queues outside, as checks were stringent, which also led to crowding and little social distancing. The Western Railway closed 174 entry points out of the total 266 entry/exit points on the Churchgate-Dahanu suburban section. Both railways have barricaded with ropes and tapes at stations to ensure proper queue.