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LBT strike halts Mumbai as 4,000 traders take to the streets
Mumbai: As many as 4,000 traders, retailers and wholesalers in Mumbai took to the streets to protest against the levy of local body tax (LBT) that brought the city to a halt on Thursday. It is to be noted that this is the second such protest against the LBT in a week in the city.
Some areas of Mumbai witnessed traffic jams, for as long as 20 minutes, owing to the traders’ associations protest against LBT, said reports. Parts of south and central Mumbai that have old markets and traders associations were the most affected.
Traffic crawled between Shivaji Park in Dadar and Azad Maidan as more than 200 cars and motorcycles part of a rally took the Sena Bhawan, Portuguese Church, Siddhivinayak, Century Bazar, Nehru Centre, Haji Ali, Hughes Road, Chowpatty, Marine Drive and Churchgate route.
To ease the situation, vehicles headed towards Nariman Point were diverted below JJ Flyover. Traffic on JJ Flyover and the arterial road leading to CST was also affected.
Traders’ associations displayed up a similar show of strength on Monday with as many as 17,000 gathering at Azad Maidan under the aegis of Federation of Associations of Maharashtra. The protest had resulted in a major traffic congestion in CST area.
Protests were also called up by traders in Navi Mumbai, Thane and Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad against the local body tax.
The Maharashtra government ordered the implementation of LBT in place of the age-old octroi. Local body tax was implemented by Brihanmumbai Mumbai Corporation (BMC) form April 1. Traders’ unions in Pune Pimpri-Chinchwad region went on a strike and observed a bandh the same day, demanding abolition of the Local Body Tax levied by BMC.