Mumbai: Massive Traffic Jam At Old Customs House Following Lok Sabha Elections Nomination Filing

Mumbai: Massive Traffic Jam At Old Customs House Following Lok Sabha Elections Nomination Filing

The downside or the brunt of this particular day was heavily faced by traffic police and specifically the motorists who traveled or got ‘stuck’ on the roads due to thousands of leaders, activists, and followers kept marching to support their political parties.

Aishwarya IyerUpdated: Monday, April 29, 2024, 10:52 PM IST
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Mumbai Traffic Police | Vijay Gohil

Mumbai: The filing of nominations for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections at the city collectorate at the Old Customs House resulted in a massive traffic jam in the area on Monday afternoon. Among others, Arvind Sawant and Anil Desai of the Shiv Sena (UBT) filed their papers. To show their solidarity hundreds of their supporters came in processions to the collectorate which disrupted vehicular traffic in a big way. The heavy presence of police was of little help.

The downside or the brunt of this particular day was heavily faced by traffic police and specifically the motorists who traveled or got ‘stuck’ on the roads due to thousands of leaders, activists, and followers kept marching to support their political parties.

While it was a special day in a political sense for all the candidates and the followers, traffic police officials who were deployed to ‘manage’ the traffic went the whole day unable to eat their breakfast, lunch or even a snack. The Free Press Journal spoke to traffic cops deployed at several ‘prime’ spots of South Mumbai to inquire about their day managing the traffic on Monday. A traffic police officer near the Asiatic Library said, “My duty started at 8:30 in the morning, and we had the instruction that it will be a long day. The pedestrian traffic who were mostly part of the rallies kept on showing up, while playing traditional songs and instruments but inadvertently blocking the whole road.”

The P D’Mello road which is already narrow in structure faced tremendous pressure due to the rallies, choking the stretch that affected the traffic movement all through the Eastern Freeway. “Freeway was bound to jam as the rallies that were expected to disperse before the beginning of evening peak hours (5 pm) didn’t. Even though the south bound has more traffic compared to north during this time, it still has a good number of vehicles plying. As the movement started to slow down near the Collector's Office, the movement overall started to crumble,” said an official. He continued, “The impact of traffic in SoBo is such that it will start to jam every route connected, so much so, even the JJ Flyover.”

Meanwhile, the motorists coming towards SoBo reportedly were stuck for hours due to blockage. "I waited in my car for over 45-50 minutes due to blockage and the situation was such that there was no U-turn, so the only option was to sit and wait," said a motorist. Another motorist added saying, "I saw the traffic cops tirelessly helping the traffic move but the number of pedestrian traffic was so high that it couldn't, for over 50 minutes at P D'Mello from Eastern Freeway."

The traffic cops on duty collectively said that they barely got time to even drink a sip of water. “Our seniors gave us a glass of chaas (buttermilk) before noon, and that’s the last thing we all consumed. It was a hectic day but we are happy that the day ended with traffic being back to normal,” an official said.

In total, traffic cops worked for over 13 hours on Monday, and they were relieved from the day at around 8:30 in the evening. A traffic cop who was returning back to Churchgate to board a train back home, said, “Now that the work is over, I will have my dabba (tiffin) my wife packed in the morning for lunch,” with a beaming smile.

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