Sundazed Influencers Finally Get The Point

After more than a year of illegal revelry, Police drive out pesky revellers from the zone, writes Manu Shrivastava

Frustrated by the constant influx of Instagrammers and Social Media influencers, hailing from as far as Pune, Karjat, even Raigad, all converging on the iconic Marine Drive and Nariman Point for a slew of 'activities,' including dance performances, bike races, and jam sessions, local residents finally reached their breaking point. They implored the Marine Drive police to step in and put an end to the pandemonium.

On 3 September 2023, a year and a half after the inception of the Sunday Streets program, initiated by the-then Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey, on 27 March 2022, the chaotic spectacle was brought to a halt. 

A swarm of Marine Drive police officers descended upon the promenade, armed with helmets and barricades
to quell the surge of influencers, which dwindled into a feeble trickle in time
A swarm of Marine Drive police officers descended upon the promenade, armed with helmets and barricades to quell the surge, which gradually dwindled into a feeble trickle as the day wore on.

Palki Goel, a Churchgate resident in her sixties, lamented, "It was spiraling completely out of control. I couldn't even enjoy my usual 5 am walk, especially on Sundays, when the roads were overtaken by blaring music systems and dancers letting loose."

While the initial idea behind the Sunday Streets program was commendable in its creativity and intent, it backfired as the event's official cancellation failed to deter hordes of influencers from flocking to Nariman Point. 

Drummers, musicians, dancers with blaring sound systems in tow continued to be the order of the day along with performers acting, driving recklessly, and even doing daring stunts in front of cameras and mobile phones, ready to capture and upload the frenzy online. 

The reels created each week continued to send shockwaves through the community, luring more potential influencers to plan their days around the next Sunday, exacerbating the chaos.

Marine Drive Senior Police Inspector Nilesh Baghul explained, "Due to numerous complaints from local residents and to maintain law and order in the area, we've decided to crack down on all 'activities,' especially on Sundays around Nariman Point and Marine Drive."

The first day of enforcement proved successful as the crowds dwindled to a trickle, with many found waiting in huddles for the police to depart before resuming their activities unhindered. As the morning progressed, the police presence only grew, leaving the influencers with little choice but to return to the distant suburbs they had come from. 

However, continuous police vigilance will be necessary to ensure that the activities that threaten to disrupt the peace and order are permanently curbed. 

The reckless bikers who used to gather every Sunday, showing no regard for pedestrians, traffic signals, or the law, must be apprehended.

For now, the police presence acts as a deterrent, but residents believe that more must be done to prevent the resurgence of this nuisance in other areas or at different times when the authorities are not watching.

Mr. Baghul highlighted, "There were even complaints from girls who reported being photographed and videographed without their consent, as well as instances of clashes and fights among influencer groups. 

With Day One behind us and influencers discouraged from performing in the area, all of this will come to an end. We will continue taking action every Sunday."

He further added, "These influencers often fail to realise that in order to perform any activity in public spaces like Marine Drive or Nariman Point, they need to obtain the necessary permissions from the authorities. 

Most of these misguided youngsters believe that by performing at Sunday Streets, they will gain mass recognition and make a name for themselves."

Public spaces should be accessible to all, rather than being dominated by a raucous few who push others aside with sheer numbers and noise.

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