Shuttered shops and empty streets: Mumbai stays indoors as 'janata curfew' begins amid rising COVID-19 cases

On the first day of Janata Curfew - the financial capital of India switched to silent mode, the alleys and lanes in both city and suburbs wore a desolate look as maximum parts of Mumbai went indoors.
With only shops under the essential category allowed to function, most of the business establishment in the markets were shut. Not many people turned out at departmental stores and grocery shops as well. Business owners said, since the past few days, Mumbaikars have engaged into last minute shopping due to which they were able to stock up necessities earlier.
"Few customers had visited us during the morning and expectedly the turn up fell down, as the day progressed," said a departmental shop owner.
The traffic at the Western Express Highway (WEH) was comparatively low on Thursday. Unlike last year, when the suspension of trains led to higher traffic congestion at WEH, this time very few vehicles turned out.
Many Mumbaikars said that keeping in mind the curfew, they have started to work from home.
The essential service workers however faced sheer inconvenience with limited option of last mile connectivity to railway stations.
"The frequency of autos and rickshaws plying on roads have fallen drastically," said a government employee.
At the railway stations, strict monitoring of passengers were being done by RPF and railway personnel. Multiple entry and exit points at the stations were shut and visitors had to show their ID cards before entering the platform premises.
Meanwhile common Mumbaikars said that the phase wise announcement had helped them to prepare for the lockdown in a smart manner.
"Unlike last year, we didn't panic this time as we were told about that there would be another lockdown this helped us to prepare," said Sameer Rawat, a Mumbaikar.

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