Mumbai: The deployment of over 200 police personnel and nakabandi caused a traffic jam near the entrance to Aarey Colony on the Western Express Highway on Saturday. The area was put under lockdown, with section 144 of the Indian Penal Code being imposed on the roads leading to Aarey, forbidding unlawful assembly in and around its vicinity.
All entrances to the Aarey metro carshed location within the colony, including those from the Western Expressway Highway (WEH) and Marol were blocked, with no one permitted within a 3km radius. The area was barricaded after clashes between the activists and police. They had set up seven checkpoints, barricaded from the entrance of the Western Express Highway entrance up to the interior of Aarey.
This ruckus resulted in a traffic mess, with over 50 policemen deployed near the Aarey entrance on WEH and vehicles were stuck in traffic for nearly 20-25 minutes. The local residents were allowed to enter the colony only after producing Aadhaar cards as proof of their residence.
BEST bus routes 342, 451, 452 too were temporarily suspended and routes 326, 341, 478, 498L, 460L, 489L were diverted and operated via WEH, Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road.
After the Bombay High Court on Friday refused to stay the felling of trees for the construction of a metro carshed, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) immediately jumped into action and embarked on clearing the area of trees. As word of this spread on Friday night, protesters began gathering at the site, to protest the felling. As the numbers of those agitating increased, police enforced a clampdown.