Traffic snarls and bottlenecks on Mumbai roads; cops fear misuse of COVID-19 emergency travel stickers

In this day and age of rising COVID-19 cases and covidiotic behaviour, the Mumbai Police has found itself itself undertaking an unenviable task — of checking vehicles to ensure that those wandering the streets amid the ongoing lockdown actually have permission to do so. Undaunted by the possible legal ramifications of flouting lockdown and seemingly lacking any sense of self preservation, Mumbaikars are stepping out in droves, often under the guise of having essential work.

With the western state under a lockdown of sorts to break the spread of the deadly virus, a colour-coded sticker system has been implemented for those requiring to travel. As per their requirements, those belonging to certain professions or travelling for certain purposes can travel using red, green or yellow stickers. These stickers can be collected from officials at check posts, or even made by people themselves.

Unfortunately, the sticker system has now posed a new conundrum, of people unnecessarily taping coloured stickers to their car without having any justifiable reason to travel. As one Twitter user noted on Friday, some are even selling these stickers to people on the streets now.

On Friday morning, irate Twitter users reported massive traffic snarls near the Dahisar Toll Naka, with many contending that essential service personnel were being held up as the police checked vehicles and colour codes.

The Mumbai Police had a counter-point to offer. "In such grim situation of COVID-19 when each and every minute is important, it is unfortunate that the colour code facility, introduced to minimise wait for emergencies is being misused by non-emergency/essential commuters. We wish we could trust them all and didn’t have to cross check sir," they lamented in response to an outraged Twitter message.

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