Following news of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s improving health, most taxis and autorickshaws returned on the roads.
Both, the Mumbai Rickshawmen’s Union chief Thampi Kurian and Mumbai Taximen’s Union head AL Quadros, confirmed that their men have started plying their vehicles.
However, RTO officials, who have been monitoring the recalibration of metres after the fare hike on October 11, said the number of rickshaws that came in to get their metres recalibrated stood at about 50% of the normal number.
“The deadline for recalibration is November 24 and with Wednesday and Thursday being holidays, we had expected a large number of rickshaws to turn up on Friday. But only about 350 turned up at the Wadala RTO and 245 at the Andheri RTO, which is half the number that usually arrives. This means rickshaws wanted to get back to business after normalcy was restored on Friday,” a senior RTO official said.
Mumbaikars celebrating Bhaubeej faced commuting problems on Thursday as few taxis or autorickshaws ran on the roads fearing violence as Thackeray was critical then.
On Friday, the unions complained of the number of passengers being on the lower side. “I didn’t face problems getting a rickshaw to travel from Mulund to Andheri,” said Arindam Kumar, a businessman from Mulund.
Railway ticket sales back to normal
The events of Thursday had put a dampener on the ticket sales of both Western Railway (WR) and Central Railway (CR) as Bhaubeej and Raksha Bandhan days usually see the highest ticket sales.
On Friday, there was some respite as CR did business close to its daily average of 9 lakh tickets after a disappointing Thursday, when several extra CVM counters placed at major stations to cater to the festive crowd failed to notch up too many sales.
WR sold close to its daily average of 6 lakh tickets on Friday, said railway officials.