No bandh in Mumbai!

Published: 19 November, 2012 09:55 IST | Team MiD DAY |

While today may be distinctly better than yesterday, don't look forward to Mumbai being completely up and running; here's what you should and shouldn't expect today

Supplies won’t be affected on Monday. However, yesterday was a different story as loaders and truck drivers did not pick up milk from the dairies. Suresh Dhas, chairman, Mahanand, said, “Every day, we provide five lakh litres of milk to Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, but on Saturday night loaders and distributors did not come to collect milk from the dairies and supply was affected on Sunday morning.

However, today most parts of the city will get milk, but we cannot assure 100 per cent delivery to all customers. We have sufficient milk, but the problem is supply, as many truckers and distributors might have attended Balasaheb’s funeral.” Ram Kadam, general secretary, Maharashtra Doodhvitrak Sena, said, “Aarey milk will be distributed on Monday. We will collect the milk from all three Aarey dairies (Worli, Kurla and Goregaon) and distribute nearly 1.25 lakh litres across Mumbai.”

“We are not sure about supply on Monday. So far, it is a wait-and-watch situation. But if Shiv Sena is saying that it is not supporting a bandh then bread will be available in the market. Distribution was affected on Sunday, as we did not send our vehicles to the dealers who in turn supply bread through their delivery chains to shopkeepers and end users.

The city on an average requires 15-20 lakh slices of bread and approximately 30 lakh ladhi paav daily. Also, supply of bread to hospitals may be hit. The per day loss to the bakery industry has been around Rs 2 to Rs 3 crore during the weekend,” said KP Irani, president of India Bakers Association.

Auto rickshaws: “We will operate throughout the suburbs as usual,” said Sharad Rao, president, Mumbai Auto Rickshawmen’s Union. The union claims that there has been no official call for a bandh and so there’s no reason to stop operations. Another union member claimed it is quite likely that Shiv Sainiks might not resort to violence as that would be a disrespect to Bal Thackeray. However, they are not ruling out fewer rickshaws on roads in case of any hostility. 1.06 lakh autos ply in the city and suburbs every day. Meanwhile, one union of auto rickshaws in Navi Mumbai has decided to operate on Monday, while others have decided to stay off the roads.

Taxis: “Though we will ply taxis in full strength, if there is any violence drivers are quite likely to stop,” said A Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai Taximen’s Union. Around 42,000 black-and-yellow taxis run in the city and suburbs on a daily basis.

BEST buses: “Our services will be as usual,” said the BEST spokesperson. The undertaking ran additional buses on Sunday – namely route numbers 66 and 321 – up to Swaminarayan temple at Dadar (E) from where people had to walk. On any given day, the Undertaking runs 4,700 of its red buses.

Trains: Local trains on both Central and Western Railway will remain unaffected. Officials confirmed to MiD DAY that there wouldn’t be any change in schedule.

Air travel: For the last two days, commuters had a tough time as they missed flights because of heavy traffic congestion on roads. The scenario might continue in case Shiv Sena calls for a bandh. “It is obvious that passengers will remain stranded because of traffic. We are getting a lot of complaints from passengers who claim they have missed their flights because of this and they should be accommodated on other available flights on the route,” said a Mumbai airport official.

The airport has deputed six buses to ferry incoming and outgoing passengers and has requested people to use these services to reach the airport on time. Meanwhile, taxis and auto rickshaws running to and from the airport will not operate for the next two days, claimed the respective unions.  “We are sure that if taxis and autos come onto the streets, Sena supporters would vandalise them,” said a member of the taxi union operating at Mumbai airport.

Petrol pumps: Ravi Shinde, president, Petrol Dealers Association, Mumbai, said, “Out of 246 petrol pumps in the city, approximately 160-170 will be operational from 6.00 am on Monday.”

Schools and colleges
>> Anil Garg, chairman of School Bus Owner’s Association in Mumbai, said, “Since most schools will remain shut on Monday, we will not run our buses. This is because of the sad demise of Bal Thackeray.”

>> Perin Bagli, principal of New Activity School, Peddar Road, and secretary of the association of ICSE schools in Maharashtra, said, “Because of Bal Thackeray’s unfortunate expiration, we may not reopen our school on Monday. Most schools will remain closed.”

“Colleges will reopen on Monday, but we have decided to have a non-instruction (no-lecture) day,” said Dr TA Shivare, principal of Hinduja College, and president of Association of Non-Government Colleges. However, government colleges were vague about having regular classes.

Vegetables and fruits
Narendra Patil, president of APMC mathadi union, said, “We have decided to keep the market closed on Monday in remembrance of Balasaheb Thackeray. The bazaar will open on Tuesday.”

So there will be no supply of vegetables and fruits to APMC market, and subsequently to retail markets in Mumbai today. All five wings of APMC bazaar remained closed on Sunday. However, Sudhir Tungar, additional commissioner of APMC, said, “Every one of the wings of the market will remain open from Monday. I have heard that traders have decided to keep it closed, but I have not received any letter from them, so far.”

Cloth merchants
Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM) has called upon its constituents and the trading community to observe a bandh – or Shraddhanjali Day – in Maharashtra today as mark of respect to Bal Thackeray. “The state of Maharashtra and the trading community have lost a true friend and a well-wisher.

Balasaheb was a great son of the soil and a true nationalist who minced no words to express his views,” said FAM president Mohan Gurnani. Also, the bullion market and Bombay Metal Exchange will stay closed on Monday.

Trade, cinema
R Vidhani, president of Cinema Owners Association Of India, said, “It will be an individual decision. As of now the association has planned nothing of that sort (observing a bandh). We will have to review the situation on Monday morning.”  “We are thinking about it. We will see the state of affairs on Monday morning and act accordingly,” said a representative of Boat Association at Gateway Of India.  

Jayantibhai Rambiya, president of Grain Rice And Oil Seeds Merchant Association at Apmc Market Vashi, has called for a bandh today. “We have jointly decided to keep our businesses shut as many other associations are doing so,” he told MiD DAY. “If the city is calm and all offices, taxis and buses are up and running as usual, then Mumbai retailers will remain open,” said a representative of Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association.

“All banks will remain open as customary. This includes scheduled, nationalised and cooperative banks,” said an officer from the All India Bank Association.

Restaurants, wine shops, malls
Restaurants will stay open today. “All our wine shops will remain closed on Monday,” said a spokesperson of Maharashtra Wine Merchants Association. “We have not decided yet. We will review the circumstances early on Monday and then determine whether to go back to business or not,” said the manager of a suburban mall.  

On call
List of important telephone numbers:
Auto-taxis helpline: 1800 220110
GRP helpline: 9833331111

Airport helpline
Terminal 1A:
+91 22 66851351
Terminal 1B: +91 22 26261149
For general and flight inquiry: 022-66851010

Traffic Police: 2493775/24937747

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