Mumbai News

Coronavirus threat overshadows Holi revelry in Mumbai; worker drowns in Kalyan creek – Times of India

MUMBAI: The two-day festival of Holi got off to a warm start with Holika Dahan ceremony on Monday night. Tuesday was Dhuleti, when the play of colour and water unfolded.
This year, the coronavirus scare prompted a great degree of caution towards large festive gatherings. A housing society in Chembur requisitioned masks and hand sanitisers for its members. Dosti Flamingos in Sewri, which had initially called off celebrations, later gave in to insistent children who were keen to enjoy their annual roll in the mud. The society management organised a “subdued” Holi, urging residents to avoid playing with water and use as little dry gulal as possible.
Even in this, revellers killed two birds with one stone, by showing off creativity and generating awareness. In Worli and Thane, people lit the bonfire of the corona asur (corona demon). They burnt with it “social evils like lack of civic hygiene and littering”.
Meanwhile, a 32-year-old construction worker from Kalyan drowned in a creek while celebrating Holi, Kalyan police said. Surinder Vikramsingh, who works at a construction site in Maharal village, was part of a group of five who ventured out for a swim, Kalyan taluka sub-inspector Bajrang Rajput said.
In Vasai, an 18-year-old girl riding pillion was killed, while her 24-year-old friend sustained serious injuries when their two-wheeler skid on a sharp turn at Ambadi bridge in Vasai on Tuesday at 3pm. They were returning home after playing Holi at Manickpur Ground. Their families took autos, but Akshay Pawar rode with Kajal Kale. Akshay is being treated for serious head injuries. Sagar Shah, returning home after Holi, lost control of his car and it hit a tree at Vasant Nagari. He was arrested.
Fifty persons were treated for Holi-related injuries on Tuesday, doctors at Mumbai’s public hospitals said.
Two with head injuries were admitted to state-run JJ Hospital (Byculla), while a person who accidentally ingested colours was admitted to BMC-run KEM Hospital (Parel). Civic Sion Hospital treated 23 patients on OPD basis, while Nair Hospital (Mumbai Central) treated six. “Most people had minor injuries that could be treated on OPD basis and discharged,” said a senior BMC official. People came in with head and arm injuries sustained during accidental falls will playing Holi.
Joint commissioner of police (traffic) Madhukar Pandey said 1,285 people were caught for speed violations, 286 for riding triple-seat, 2,656 for riding without helmets, while 336 were nabbed for drunk driving. In all, 4,612 people were held for traffic offences in the metropolis between late Monday night and 5pm on Tuesday, police said.
Motorists had expressed concern about coronavirus spreading through repeat use of nozzles of breathalysers used by traffic police. But traffic police said they used disposable nozzles made of paper. The numbers of drunk driving cases in Thane was 145 on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, a video of Union minister Ramdas Athawale, Chinese consul general in Mumbai Tang Guocai and Buddhist monks chanting ‘Go corona, go corona’ at a prayer meet went viral on social media. The video was reportedly shot at Gateway of India on February 20 during a prayer session to stop the spread of the coronavirus in China. -With agency inputs