Mumbai: A massive traffic jam was witnessed on Western Express Highway (WEH) and Eastern Express Highways (EEH) on Monday morning, due to the apathy of multiple check points across the city, causing a congestion of over three hours. This scene comes a day after Mumbai Police asked citizens to strictly follow lockdown norms and stay put within the 2 km radius of their homes and local areas.
Mumbai Police and traffic cops are conducting extensive checks at nakabandis and impounding vehicles if the motorist is found outside the 2 km radius without a valid reason except for those who are part of essential services or are heading to office.
Monday morning saw severe traffic jams on the WEH at Dahisar check naka-- an entry point to the city, along with Magathane Bridge, near Samta Nagar police station, Kurar Village, Westin and after JVLR bridge. Similar scenes were witnessed at EEH, SV Road and Link Road. Those travelling and caught in this traffic havoc, have expressed their ire on social media, blaming police and its barricades kept along the way, causing traffic snarls.
Not only office goers were stuck in the traffic congestion, but ambulances were also trapped, as not a single vehicle was moving. The social media users have slammed Mumbai Police's decision to conduct checking during peak hours on a weekday, adding to their pre-existing troubles and have called them out.
A motorist, who was travelling in a car bound to go to Andheri, was stuck in traffic for over two hours, and blamed the police apathy. "Police have been checking vehicles and impounding those found without reasons. What's surprising is that, they are parking the impounded vehicles right beside the check points, adding to the already worse traffic woes," said the motorist.
The worst hit were the essential service workers, who had all the permissions to travel and go to work, who were stuck in this massive traffic congestion in a crackdown on lockdown norms violators. Moreover, residents have been told to only visit markets, salons, barber shops and parks close to their residence, and not step out of the house unnecessarily.
"Only those attending offices or medical emergencies are allowed to go further. It is our sincere appeal that all citizens behave responsibly and avoid unnecessary movement. The onus of defeating COVID-19 lies on all of us and we can achieve this only when we follow the personal safety and social distancing guidelines at all times," the police said in a statement.