Traffic snarls were reported on all city roads, like the Link Road, the Western and Eastern Express Highways, the BandraWorli Sea Link and the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road. A senior traffic official said, while the gush of traffic had been anticipated, “people were not expected to defy the lockdown rules like this”.
A motorist, travelling from Vikhroli to Malad, claimed a lot of confusion and traffic delays were caused by the wrongly placed police barricades. “In the name of checking, the police had placed barricades, which led to a very confusing situation and caused a delay of at least 25 minutes,” he said.
A similar traffic jam was reported near Goregaon (E) on the WEH. The evening commute was no different. Mumbai Traffic Police were allegedly unable to cope with the situation, leaving motorists idling in their vehicles as in the prelockdown days.
Twitter was the site for them to fume. A photograph of the traffic went viral on the internet. Actor and producer Nikhil Dwivedi tweeted, “No waaayyyy!! This is not good.” A Twitter user wrote, “Extremely poor implementation by the Govt of Maharashtra, the lockdown is not being enforced leading to spike especially in many areas. Similar problem is being seen in Pune.”
Another Twitter user said in a post, “Mumbai’s traffic was expectedly higher today as some activities were allowed. Police barricading at so many places led to severe jams, which took an hour to reach Vashi toll plaza from Mankhurd.
When contacted a senior traffic official, he said, all personnel were on field and they will be making up a better deployment plan to manage the traffic.” The Maharashtra govt had, on Friday, issued guidelines for limited relaxation of restrictions from April 20 to May 3.
The guidelines said farm-sector activities, along with truck repair garages and eateries (dhabas) along highways would be exempted from the lockdown. The BMC has also issued a fresh set of directives and said it would allow certain public works during the lockdown from Monday.