Though Shiv Sena had clarified that it had not called for a bandh on Monday, Mumbaikars went to bed on Sunday unsure if essentials such as milk, vegetables and medicines would be available and rickshaws and taxis would ply.
But on Monday, the city and neighbouring Thane and Navi Mumbai got back to work.
Bhandup resident Vinit Apte, who works in a bank at Fort, said, “We had left office on Saturday assuming the worst. But as nothing happened during the huge turnout at Balasaheb’s funeral, I was sure, all would be well on Monday.”
Though the textile and jewellery markets remained closed, offices, both government and private, remained open though a few cited low attendance.
No lectures, but exams conducted
The University of Mumbai reopened after Diwali vacation on Monday and exams were conducted smoothly. But private colleges saw minimal attendance as Monday was declared as non-instructions day (no lectures) by the Association of Non-governmental Colleges (ANGC).
Though unaware of this announcement, most students decided to stay at home. Deepak Mishra, a student of Thakur College in Kandivli, said, “As my college starts early in the morning, I wasn’t sure if I will get an autorickshaw from Kandivli station. So I stayed at home.”
TA Shivare, principal of Hinduja College and chairman of ANGC, said: “Student attendance, as expected, was lower than normal. However, there was no academic loss as it was declared as non-instructions day, which means that no lectures will be conducted.”
School buses to resume services
Most ICSE and CBSE schools that were to reopen on Monday after the Diwali break, did not do so. Most schools decided to remain shut as the bus owners association refused to run their vehicles.
Carl Laurie, principal of Christ Church School in Byculla, said: “As most of our students commute by the school bus, we decided to keep the school shut.’’ The few schools that reopened saw poor student turnout in the morning sessions. But the afternoon sessions saw a full house.
Taxis, rickshaws back on roads With BEST buses running as usual, the city’s roads returned to the chaotic traffic as taxis and autorickshaws returned on the roads.
According to rickshaw and taxi drivers, the three-day shutdown had hit them hard.
“I had run out of cash after Diwali. This was the worst weekend in my 40 years as a rickshaw driver,” said Ramdhan Singh from Goregaon.
Even the pre-paid taxis and fleet taxis returned to the Mumbai airport.