Huge traffic jams were reported from several areas in Mumbai in Maharashtra on Monday despite a lockdown across the state and prohibitory orders to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The Mulund toll naka in the eastern part of Mumbai saw huge traffic with several private vehicles and taxis from Thane queueing up to enter the capital city.
Similar scenes were observed at Dahisar toll naka on the western side of the city.
The Maharashtra government had imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) which prohibits the assembly of more than four people at any place on Sunday when hundreds of millions of Indians heeded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal for the Janta Curfew for a day to contain the spread of the disease.
Maharashtra has reported that there are 89 Covid-19 patients across the state and that two deaths have been recorded in Mumbai.
The ministry of railways has shut down suburban train services in Mumbai till March 31. With trains services suspended, many private vehicles, taxis and auto-rickshaws were seen plying on the streets of the city.
Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday morning released a statement asking citizens to adhere to orders of the state.
“Its time to take the fight against coronavirus seriously. Section 144 of CrPC has been imposed. Only emergency services are in operation. Don’t violate the law by taking your vehicles out on the roads,” said Thackeray.
Mumbai Police’s patrol vehicles were seen across the city, with officials using megaphones and loudspeakers to urge people to stay indoors.
The Centre has asked states to strictly enforce lockdown in various cities across the country amid the coronavirus pandemic, as the number of Covid-19 infected people crossed 400 on Monday.
In a note to the state governments, the Centre has asked them to take legal action against those who are found violating the lockdown orders.
“States have been asked to strictly enforce the lockdown in the areas where it has been announced. Legal action will be taken against violators,” the Press Information Bureau (PIB) tweeted on Monday.
Eighty-two districts in the country are under lockdown following the outbreak of Covid-19.
Their borders will remain sealed during the lockdown, but essential services will not be disrupted.