Mumbai: With taxis and autorickshaws back on the streets and businesses and markets open, life in Mumbai is back on track. The Shiv Sena clarified on Sunday that it hasn't called for a bandh. "The shutdown call is purely voluntary. We have not called for any kind of shutdown," party spokesperson Anil Parab said on Sunday.
Some schools in the city, however, have decided to extend their Diwali break for another day and will remain closed.
As Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray's body was consigned to flames at Shivaji Park in central Mumbai on Sunday, the city wore a deserted look with most public transport staying off the roads.
The Taxi Union had declared that cabs will run only if there is calm in the city today. But they changed their decision soon after. Meanwhile, buses run by BEST (BrihanMumbai Electric Supply and Transport) will maintain their regular schedule today; the transport service had arranged for extra buses yesterday to facilitate for people to travel to Shivaji Park to pay their last respects to Mr Thackeray. Trains too will run normally.
Earlier on Sunday, as people thronged to catch a glimpse of the Sena patriarch and pay homage to him, shops, restaurants, hotels, theatres, malls and other commercial establishments remained shut while private vehicles, taxis and autorickshaws remained off the roads. Medical shops in the city as well as in neighbouring Thane were also closed.
Citizens also found it difficult to get milk and vegetables. "We did not get milk this morning and even the vegetable market is shut. I have never come across such silence in the city in my life ever," said Rama Arolla (50), a housewife from BDD chawl in Worli area.
About 20,000 police personnel kept a strict vigil in the metropolis to maintain law and order.