Shinde’s visit to western suburbs leads to traffic snarls

Mumbai: Chief minister Eknath Shinde’s visit to the western suburbs on Friday evening led to traffic snarls on the Western Express Highway (WEH) and the Link Road.

Mumbai, India – May 19, 2023: Huge traffic jam on the Western Express Highway in the evening at Kala Nagar, Bandra in Mumbai, India, on Friday, May 19, 2023. (Photo by Satish Bate/ Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)

The CM began the inspection of desilting works from the Milan subway in Santacruz west around 5pm. Major traffic jams were reported on both the Link Road and the WEH during the peak hours.

After his Santacruz west visit, Shinde went to inspect Gokhale Bridge in Andheri east. The entire north-bound stretch, used by office-goers to return home, between Santacruz and Andheri was shut for a brief period, leading to heavy jams on WEH.

“At Jogeshwari E, the traffic police have blocked WEH, resulting in a traffic jam till V.Parle. Traffic movement towards Malad has been stopped, for reasons best known (sic),” tweeted one Narendra Soneji.

After his inspection in Andheri east, the CM once again moved to the western side of the city to inspect a nullah in Oshiwara. Both the sides of the Link Road between Oshiwara Mega Mall and Bhagat Singh Nagar were shut from around 6pm for nearly 30 minutes, which led to severe traffic in the area.

Saket Ojha, an Andheri resident who was rushing to take his pet to a veterinarian, had to take a U-turn after he was informed by the police that he will have to wait for three hours. “I was asked to turn back because of the convoy of the chief minister. I was stuck before a small nullah near the Mega Mall,” he said.

“My dog is suffering and has to visit the vet to get injections every day. The policemen asked us to wait for three hours on the same road if we wanted to go further. This happened around 6:15pm and the police were not cooperating at all. They should at least have informed us that the roads would be blocked. No alternative routes were provided. There were barricades on all the roads and the cops were just asking to take alternate roads but there were not any.”

After this, the CM and his convoy moved towards Malad, where he inspected another nullah. Here again, the Link Road was shut on both sides for a brief period during the inspection, leading to further traffic jams.

Rivika, another resident said, “I was travelling from Malad to Lokhandwala and I had to stop for about 25 minutes. It was a hectic day, so I lost my cool and around 5:30pm got down and walked back. The traffic was halted on both sides. They should have taken citizens into consideration and kept it open at least from one end because enough security is provided to the CM.”

After Malad, the CM’s convoy went to Anand Nagar in Dahisar east during peak hours. He then moved ahead to inspect more sites. The CM travelled south-bound to National Park on the WEH and then again went to the west side (Link Road) in Borivali for his press conference.

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