Mumbai: Several people, who missed their flights on Wednesday, held traffic snarls on the Western Express Highway (WEH) responsible for their plight. Heavy congestion was reported from major connectors of the city, including the pothole-riddled Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR). However, traffic authorities averred that it was an “ordinary” traffic flow which was “well-managed” by them. They said that a tempo breakdown near Goregaon in the morning was the cause behind the traffic jam.
Sucheta Dalal raises concern on X
However, the problem was so annoying that even journalist and writer Sucheta Dalal raised her concern on Twitter. “What an awful traffic mess at the domestic airport. People are going to miss flights if you don't act.” Another user wrote, “One hour for a 12-km drive. How hopeless can you (traffic police) be at managing this city? I mean it's a disgrace. The WEH, south bound, Goregaon to Andheri.”
Residents express anguish
Talking to the Free Press Journal, Vile Parle resident Deepak Kulaskar, 58, said that he and his son have, so far, missed at least seven flights in four months. “They (traffic authorities) should be ashamed as none of their work is being reflected on ground. Years on, the situation at the WEH is the same. Metro came up, roads got widened, traffic signals were tweaked and yet we are stuck in traffic for hours,” he lashed.
Riddhima from Goregaon made a sarcastic remark, saying, “Maybe it's our fault, instead of leaving home three hours before the flight time, we should have left home a day before. My fingers are numb after multiple tweets, written complaints to local traffic police, but nothing has saved us yet from this horrific traffic,” she said.
Meanwhile, a traffic official said that some auto-rickshaws had lined up at the WEH, leading to disruption of smooth movement, but the issue “was cleared as usual”. Underlining that wrong side driving is a major factor causing snarls, the official said, “Several private vehicles and autos are caught for wrong side driving. By doing this, they slow down the traffic flow. Everyday we penalize multiple vehicles for wrong side driving, and request others to maintain traffic discipline.”
Similar chaotic scenes played out at the JVLR, especially near the L&T flyover. Police officials blamed the Metro work and bad roads for the mess.