Though the organisers of Maratha Kranti silent march have promised that the massive protest on Wednesday won't cause inconvenience to Mumbaikars, the administration and police have advised people to avoid travelling to South Mumbai that day.
As per the organisers, the protesters won't travel in four-wheelers beyond a point, but a mammoth number of participants, they expect, is likely to choke the island city's roads leading to Azad Maidan.
The silent start
The traffic police have been telling offices and institutions in the vicinity of CST to issue alerts to their staff to avoid travelling in cars.
"Going to offices early in the morning may be smooth, but returning home will be a problem," said a senior police officer, who has been personally visiting the offices.
Meanwhile, organisers have come up with a well-designed parking plan for protesters. Large plots of BPT near Wadala are being prepared to park at least 25,000 vehicles. The participants will walk a short distance to the zoo from there. Parking arrangements have also been made on APMC premises and some grounds in Navi Mumbai, and Dahanu.
Organisers said they have requested that only participants coming from far use four-wheelers. Some 10,000 volunteers will work that day to coordinate with participants and police. Wireless communication equipment, drones and ambulances, sanitation vehicles and other things will be used.
'We'll be disciplined'
"We have asked our Maratha colleagues to park their vehicles at nearest railway stations and then take trains to reach the venue. No participant from Mumbai will take out his/her car," said Virendra Pawar, city coordinator of the Marathi Kranti Morcha, at a media interaction.
"We don't want to trouble Mumbaikars. We haven't created a problem at any of the 57 marches held across the state. There will be no law and order situation this time either. The police and public need not worry — we will be disciplined and ensure cleanliness while we walk without raising slogans."
Going by the plan, city's railway network is expected to get burdened on Wednesday morning and evening. Organisers said regular commuters shouldn't worry because participants will cooperate and avoid creating any unwarranted situation.
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Behind the scenes
>> Each village and town arranges for its own vehicles and contributes for fuel expenses
>> Participants prepare food at home and carry it with them along with drinking water
>> Open spaces and stadiums are booked in advance. Men and women are allotted separate areas
>> Participants march silently, with placards and saffron flags
>> Participants occupy possible passages and spaces near government offices, like that of the district collector or divisional commissioner, systematically
Why the protest
The community took to protests after the gang rape and murder of a Maratha girl by Dalit youths in Kopardi (Ahmednagar) last July. They complained that whenever they tried to complain against such crimes by Dalits, they were threatened with the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. They want action on the accused, and a review of the law. The community is also miffed that even though it was granted job and education quotas by the Congress-NCP regime, the reservation didn't hold up in court. The Mumbai march (58th) will be the last in this series of protests. Those in Aurangabad, Osmanabad, Jalgaon, Beed and Parbhani witnessed participation of up to 5 lakh people.
Need to know
When: Wednesday, 11 am
Where: From Jijamata Udyan (Byculla zoo), taking the JJ flyover to reach Azad Maidan
No. of vehicles plots near Wadala being prepared for parking can accommodate
Number of volunteers working that day
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