The city has been under 'strict lockdown' since last week and the fresh curbs have helped drastically reduce the number of people on the streets. However, the markets selling vegetables, fruits and groceries are still witnessing huge crowds questioning the effectiveness of the lockdown.
As a solution to decongest such places, the city police have decided to live track them with the help of CCTV cameras so that additional manpower could be sent immediately to deter overcrowding.
"We have already taken preventive measures and given instructions for additional deployment at such places. The zonal DCP's have been asked to send photographs of such places twice a day, between 11-12 in the morning and 5-6 in the evening to Joint CPs so that immediate calls can be taken if necessary," said Hemant Nagrale, the Mumbai Police chief.
“At such places we have also intensified action against those not wearing masks,” he added.
Unlike last year, this time the state government hasn't imposed complete restrictions on people's movements, many are found taking advantage of the exemptions and either step out or go out for drive for non-essential activities.
As a result, crowing at markets like Dadar, Borivali and at many other places in the city have been observed since the past couple of days. The roads were also not as empty as they were in previous complete lockdowns.
To decongest the roads and for smooth movement of vehicles carrying essential services staff, the city police implemented a self-colour coding system from Saturday and divided vehicles in three categories. The vehicles with valid colour tags are only allowed to enter the city till the month end. The police will randomly check such vehicles for their authenticity and those who are found to be misusing it will be prosecuted for cheating, said police.
He also requested citizens to enquire with police persons posted in their vicinity whether they require water, tea, food or anything else. " Your kind words will boost their morale and encourage them," he said.
The police have already clarified that they will not take harsh action against people who are on the street for valid reasons but those found unnecessarily venturing out will not be spared.
The police chief has already instructed senior inspectors across Mumbai to arrange zoom meetings with traders, shop owners, hotels and other establishment owners and other stakeholders and address their concerns. Their suggestions will help in effective implementation of the lockdown, said police.