With Covid-19 cases spiraling out of control, the Maharashtra government finally imposed a complete lockdown on April 14, 2021. According to the officials, the lockdown and its related curbs will remain in effect at least till May 1, 2021. While this particular lockdown may not seem as disruptive as the one we had back in 2020, one should not take any of this lightly. If you have been following the news, you would be aware that Maharashtra is one of the worst-hit states in India. To try and de-escalate the rapid spread of the virus, the Maharashtra government had already implemented Section 144. Clearly, that wasn’t a solution enough.
However, despite the rampant spread of Covid-19 in the state and its financial powerhouse, Mumbai, citizens still have to step out. Whether this is for official purposes for those in the healthcare sector, emergency responders, vital logistics services, media personnel, the banking sector, or those employed in various but important government departments – stepping outside becomes unavoidable. Up until now, the vehicular movement in the state was closely monitored but sans any particular visual indication for the police. All vehicles (both private and commercial) entering Mumbai had to be stopped and their occupants questioned. However, this takes a lot of time and holds up traffic, thereby causing long queues at various checkpoints.
In order to reduce the time spent at these police checkpoints, Mumbai Police has now mandated color-coded stickers for vehicles. Available in three colors – red, green, and yellow – the circular stickers would each have a diameter of 6 inches. These stickers will be available free of cost at every toll gate and checkpoint in Mumbai. According to Hemant Nagrale, Commissioner of Mumbai Police, these color-coded stickers will have multiple benefits. Firstly, it will be easier to spot, segregate and smooth the flow of traffic on the road. Secondly, since each of the three colors indicates vehicles (and their operators) that are of a particular category, those that need not necessarily step out will feel dissuaded from doing so.
Speaking of which, these color-coded circular stickers affect different categories of people. In the sense that, if you are a part of the healthcare sector, you obviously have the highest priority and are required to have a red sticker on your vehicle. Red-colored stickers are meant to be used on vehicles that are used by medical staff (such as doctors, nurses, lab technicians etc.), those transporting medical supplies & equipment, and of course, on ambulances. Meanwhile, yellow-colored stickers are meant to be used on vehicles that are part of essential services. This includes vehicles that are operated by employees of media houses, telecom services such as BEST, BMC & MTNL, water supply, gas supply & electricity personnel, and vehicles that transport officers and staff of local, state & central governments.
Finally, there is the green-colored sticker. The green-colored sticker is mandatory for all vehicles that are tasked with transporting eatables like bakery products, dairy products, fruits & vegetables, groceries, confectionaries, and all types of raw & cooked food items. As for the circular stickers themselves, vehicle users can get them for free from toll gates and checkpoints across Mumbai.
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However, Nagrale pointed out that it is the users’ responsibility to stick their respective color-coded stickers on their vehicles. The Mumbai Police Commissioner also cautioned against the misuse of these stickers. Moreover, Mumbai Police clarified that one could make their own color-coded sticker as long as it meets the requirements – circular, measuring 6 inches across. Meanwhile, users found sticking the wrong color-coded sticker on their vehicles will face legal action. If you are wondering where to place the sticker – it should be stuck in the corner on the vehicle’s front windscreen.