It was seen an overexcited Monday morning for Mira Bhayandar residents and was keen to return to their work after a two and a half month gap, with limited public transport allowed. Serpentine queues were seen at BEST bus stands at B.P Road near Bhayandar Railway Station Road, which goes till Navghar Road.
The crowds had started gathering as early as 8 am. With local trains still suspended, the buses were the only way for the office goers to make it to work. The exit points of the twin city at Dahisar and Cheena on Ghodbunder Road toll booths saw a large number of private vehicles. The Western express highway reported heavy congestion until about 11 am.
Though, taxis and cab aggregators had been allowed by the MBMC they were restricted to emergency services and had a cap on the number of passengers. Amid eased restrictions, movement of people with 1 + 2 members in cabs, and auto-rickshaws have been allowed. The two-wheelers, however, are not allowed to take pillion riders, but many were seen travelling with a pillion.
On Monday, most chose to keep off the roads though. “Taxi drivers are waiting to understand the regulations; they may increase in number in a day or two. A lot of them have gone to their native through Shramik trains back home. We have also read through you people that many have taken rickshaw and taxi to their native villages,” said a senior traffic official.
Local trains will increase the commuters
As local trains and metros are suspended its service, the state government had requested the centre to allow the resumption of local trains to facilitate the movement of emergency workers and office goers. However, the state government has not received any response from the central government. Offices have only been allowed to function at 10% but getting even that quorum might prove to be difficult. People from Virar to Dahisar, those work in Mumbai totally depend on local trains. Additional BEST services and ST buses have been deployed to cater to employees.
At Bhayander commuters waited in queues for close to an hour before getting on to a bus to Mumbai. A 1:06 minutes video which went viral on Monday shows the serpentine queue from B. P Road Bus Stand to Navghar Road. A video was shot on a bike, probably by a pillion rider considered to be a woman while a man was riding the bike.