Mumbai: The Mumbai police’s latest regulation, to self-attest 6-inch red, green or yellow circles to the front and back of the vehicle based on the categories that one falls into of essential services, has created ample confusion among citizens with many taking to Twitter to ask which sticker sould they use if they had to step out. This despite the Mumbai Police have clarified on their Twitter handle in an extensive Q-and-A thread where they have explained which essential activity would need what colour sticker.
But Mumbai police has continued to clear the confusion by replying to tweets from citizens on a regular basis.
“@MumbaiPolice my wife is pregnant she has to go to the doctor again and again, which sticker do i need and from where can i get it... I stay in four bunglows andheri west,” tweeted Harsh Raseen. "You may please use the red sticker, which you can make one of your own sir #EmergencyStickers," replied Mumbai police.
Aneesh Kulkarni tweeted, "@MumbaiPolice We manufacture sanitizer and hand wash and need to travel to and from factory in Palghar to manage production and distribution...what colour sticker for us?," to which Mumbai Police replied, "You may use the red sticker."
“In that case what if any person has to go for banking work or some other very important Urgent work... what they shall do ? Which stickers they have to apply on their cars?,” questioned Darshan Soni. Yellow sticker. But only till the ATM. Banks are open but not for visitors/customers. Utilise online and mobile banking please #EmergencyStickers, replied Mumbai police.
“@MumbaiPolice @CPMumbaiPolice have been trying to get the sticker for my car at various police stations and check posts but everyone has the same reply “stickers are over” where do we get it? And what if we aren’t able to get it? Will our official ID work? #help #mumbai,” reads a tweet posted by ilachi nagda. You may please make one of your own sir #EmergencyStickers, replied Mumbai police from its Twitter handle.
This also brought to fore the question of issuing curfew passes or e-passes to those linked with essential services was a better option. As far as the e-passes were concerned, they were issued in a different context at the time of a total lockdown which restricted movement of everyone except those engaged in essential service industries like hospitals, said former Maharashtra Director General of Police Praveen Dixit. "This time we are equipped with a year-long experience of how to tackle lockdown and realised that essential service needs to be afloat, but with restrictions, this is where the colour-coded stickers come into play," said Dixit.
But Dixit also said, "People engaged in non-essential activities should stay indoors and help those in emergency service to reach workplaces in time. These colour-coded stickers will come in handy as there will not be a need to stop and check the vehicles if they are self-tagged, saving critical time. If one, however, is found misusing the colour tags, they should be dealt strictly within law." He also added that if people do want to step out, then they should volunteer for helping out medical staff.
When asked how would one regulate the use of these stickers, Mumbai Police spokesperson and deputy commissioner of police (Operations) Chaitanya S said, "We are doing spot verification and asking motorists relevant questions to ensure that their travel is legitimate. If a motorist claims they are out for withdrawing money from an ATM, they will be asked the location and asked to produce a receipt if they are returning."
Mumbai Police have already booked 286 people under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for disobedience of orders promulgated by public servants for misusing stickers.
In a bid to curb traffic snarls, Mumbai Police also created a green corridor for vehicles with red stickers. "We understand the urgency of all emergency professions and service seekers. Therefore, there is a dedicated lane for vehicles with red emergency stickers at every checkpoint on the roads of Mumbai," DCP Chaitanya S added.