Huge traffic at Western Express Highway, Vile Parle.
Huge traffic at Western Express Highway, Vile Parle.

Mumbai: The police barricades installed on the Western Express Highway (WEH) near the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) have been receiving a lot of flak from netizens over causing unnecessary traffic snarls during peak hours. The police claim that the barricades are used to control and check the motorists amid lockdown

The stretch between Jogeshwari and the International airport has always been a congestion point, which causes a delay of at least 15 minutes. A number of times the irate motorists have taken to the social media to express their disappointment and anger, only to go through the same traffic the next day.

A Thakur Village-based engineer, who requested anonymity, said, "I travel every day from Kandivali to Bandra to get to work, and I'm always stuck in traffic between two flyovers before the airport. Initially, I thought that the traffic would subside, but it prevails, only relief we did get was during the lockdown period due to lesser vehicles on roads."

When contacted, a senior traffic official from Sahar traffic division, he said, "There are daily checks in this patch due to a large number of vehicular movement of not just private but public transport as well around the International airport. We have been trying to control the traffic as well as keep a tab on errant drivers/riders, so we cannot do away with the barricades and give a free hand to motorists."

The main reason pointed out by motorists is the frequent checking with barricading in this patch conducted by Mumbai Police and traffic sleuths in a crackdown on helmet-less bikers, people driving without seat belts among other traffic violations.

Meanwhile, a Twitter user had said on the social networking platform, "Unnecessary traffic is created every day on the airport road on the WEH due to the barricades placed, for absolutely no reason. People often reach late due to this mess."

This stretch between Jogeshwari and the international airport is a favourite spot to conduct a nakabandi at night to check for drink-and-drive cases. During night, there is an average traffic congestion of seven minutes at this spot, said a source.

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Free Press Journal