In the wake of Section 144 imposed in the state till March 31, thestate highway police is conducting rigorous checks on all the vehiclespassing through the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
Vijay Patil,superintendent of police, Maharashtra Highway Police said, "Vehicles ferrying essential services and employees are being allowed to ply. However, those carrying normal passengers who want to leave city arebeing stopped.
"Panic struck the citizens when social media went abuzz with rumourslike Mumbai-Pune Expressway has been shut. Clearing the air on thesame, Maharashtra Highway Police SP Vijay Patil said, it is not shutbut under heavy deployment of officials checking every vehicle.
"Barring essential services like food, milk, water hospitals, fire,prisons, banks, and media, we are stopping the vehicles. The Mumbai-Pune Expressway is not shut, but limited to these movement only," added Patil.
Police said, many private buses and cars carrying passengers who want to leave the city and return to their home town are being stopped."They should understand that they could be carriers who are taking the virus to another city and could pose a threat to a larger public by travelling in such transports. Instead they should stay put at homeand do their bid in containing the situation," said a senior policeofficer requesting confidentiality.
The state highway police, on Friday, had 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, were found flouting the rules and travelling on trains or buses and even taking part in social engagements.
Meanwhile, it was observed that people from other parts were trying toenter the city from Dahisar toll naka since Monday morning. "We had to make public announcements that section 144 has been imposed here andnot more than 4 people can travel. We are checking and stopping peopletraveling more than three per vehicle," said Dilip Sawant, additional commissioner (north region).
Maharashtra has become the epicentre of coronavirus in India, as the state reports 97 cases and three people succumbed to the virus. India, about 428 people have tested positive for the deadly virus and seven people have succumbed to it.