Residents of Mira Road and Bhayandar have been badly affected by an indefinite strike by retailers since Friday. The retailers are demanding the abolition of octroi duty in the state.
Rupa Pinto, a resident of Shantinagar in Mira Road, has been getting up early to ensure she has stored enough grocery for the day. “The grocery shops in my area open early in the morning and shut in a few hours. Therefore, I make sure essential commodities are stocked at home, as we’re unlikely to get them later in the day,” said Pinto.
Ashok Rajasthani, secretary of the Mira Road-Bhayandar Vypar Maha Mandal Welfare Association, said, “There are no octroi charges all over India, except in Maharashtra. Why are we harassed? As of now, only essential commodities like milk and medicines are being made available.
We will meet our traders today and decide on the future course of action.” He added two- and three-wheelers will support the strike from today, whereas traders from Dombivli, Ulhasnagar and Kalyan will go on strike from tomorrow.
The strike has also found support from some malls in the region. Maxus Mall in Bhayandar has been shut since the last four days. “We have incurred heavy losses due to the strike. But we will continue with our strike untill the government decides to abolish octroi,” said Manubhai Mehta, owner of the mall. Retailers at Thakur Mall in Dahisar too have shut shop. “The multiplexes are open, but most of the shops are closed,” said a spokesperson.
The closure of shops at malls also ruined people’s plans for the weekend. “I usually take my family for a small excursion on weekends, but our plans flopped after we realised malls are shut. We are left with no choice, but to stay at home,” said Nilesh Shah, a broker from Mira Road.