‘Sunday street’ initiative takes off in Mumbai

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Urging people to step out on the vehicles-free streets and do anything they desire on the free roads, Pandey said even the Mumbai Police band would be available to regale the citizens…reports Asian Lite News

At the crack of dawn on Sunday, a unique citizen-friendly initiative launched by Mumbai Police, is called ‘Sunday Streets’ inspired by Commissioner of Police Sanjay Pandey.

The event was flaged-off by Commissioner of Police Sanjay Pandey who was in a t-shirt run by people at Nariman Point at 6.15 a.m., marking the arrival of ‘Sunday Streets’ concept for the country’s commercial capital.

The initiative envisages ‘handing’ over around half-a-dozen prominent roads in the city and suburbs to the people to bring them out of their homes and let them ‘chill in the streets’ without the fear of speeding vehicles or tiresome traffic jams.

These streets are Marine Drive, Bandra, Andheri, Goregaon, Vikhroli and Mulund – over which Mumbaikars ‘lord’ for 4 hours – started on March 27.
The initiative look forward to Mumbaikars joining in large numbers,” said Pandey, who has been interacting directly with the citizens and social groups after he assumed charge of the coveted top police post this month.

During the time citizens could let their hair down on open roads, engage in activities like yoga, running, cycling, walking, skating, etc, without the fear of getting knocked down by zooming vehicles, or pesky hawkers and vendors creating hurdles.

” I am from the Powai batch, I enjoy running and finally got a platform. This is a great initiative by the Mumbai police as we can run every Sunday. It’s really great to get the feel of the streets after lockdown,” said Preeta, a participant at the event. The runners also thanked the officials for arranging an event that gave them an opportunity to be fit and closer to the streets after lockdown.

Around 8 years ago, a similar ‘Equal Streets’ movement had been launched by some social groups but it was limited to certain suburban areas and went on the ‘back-street’ during the two years of Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.

Urging people to step out on the vehicles-free streets and do anything they desire on the free roads, Pandey said even the Mumbai Police band would be available to regale the citizens.

Citizens and groups have welcomed the Mumbai Police chief’s initiative and are demanding that more roads be converted into ‘Sunday Streets’ to enable people, especially women, children and seniors, to step out safely and move around freely, and there’s a buzz on social media.

People’s groups term it as a game changer for the city, pointing out how lakhs have fallen ill remaining cooped up in their homes, especially during the pandemic, and roads are out of bounds even on weekends when the traffic increased by nearly 50 per cent.

Citizens in some other areas like Lokhandwala, Charkop, Kandivali, Borivali, Dahisar, Powai and Dadar have also demanded similar ‘Sunday Streets’ in their respective localities and to make it a permanent feature of Mumbai’s weekend ‘outing’

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