Coronavirus outbreak: It's odd-even for Bandra West shops

Updated: Apr 08, 2020, 12:40 IST | Chetna Sadadekar | Mumbai

BMC issues letters to shopkeepers on Bazaar Road to function on odd/even dates to avoid overcrowding and dissuade loiterers

Bazaar Road at Bandra West closed by BMC and police on Tuesday. Pic/Shadab Khan
Bazaar Road at Bandra West closed by BMC and police on Tuesday. Pic/Shadab Khan

In a bid to arrest the spread of Covid, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) now plans to experiment with an odd-even date formula for stores providing essential services. Assistant municipal commissioner Vinayak Vispute on Tuesday issued letters to shopkeepers at Bazar road in Bandra West regarding this. This was done after people were found loitering around under the pretext of buying essential items, civic officials said.

The move was also a result of a breakout of Covid cases in crowded pockets of the city. The Bazar road, which has a number of grocery stores, is surrounded by residential areas. The H West ward, led by Vispute, consists of Bandra West, Khar and Santacruz West and has so far registered 16 positive cases.

The BMC's letter regarding odd-even dates formula has been sent to about 100 shopkeepers on Bazar road (from Bostan Hotel SV Road to Jain Mandir). However, medical stores will be allowed to function on all dates.

According to the directives, the shops situated on the south of Bazar road will remain open on odd dates and the shops on the north will remain open on even dates. Failing to follow these instructions will invite penal action against the shopkeepers under section 188 of the IPC, the letter read.

"The decision is taken in consultation with the police as even they thought it was important to restrict movement by taking stricter measures as despite warnings the loitering on Bazaar road continued," Vispute told mid-day, adding, "We have observed a pattern and realised that many just venture out to chat and chill. Now if the shops are shut, they won't have any excuse."

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