A heavy traffic jam was witnessed on the Western Express Highway (WEH) near Mahindra & Mahindra in Kandivali (E) on Friday morning. This unusual jam resulted in a traffic slowdown of more than 18 minutes on the WEH, leading to a subsequent delay and traffic snarls for motorists coming from the north end.
The slowdown of vehicular movement at Kandivli, Jogeshwari, and Andheri was not due to any police restrictions but due to the extra vehicles that came out on road, said an official. A Twitter user also expressed his ire on social media stating that this jam was caused by the surge in vehicles of all essential/non-essential workers, leading to congestion.
"We are not conducting any unusual nakabandis or surprise checks as there have been no changes in the orders issued under Mission Begin Again's Unlock 4. However, we have deployed our personnel to control the traffic," a police officer said on condition of anonymity. A similar traffic jam was seen on the Eastern Express Highway (EEH) and the Eastern Freeway causing congestion of over 20 minutes and 10 minutes respectively.
The traffic snarls added fuel to the rumours that police will now initiate action against vehicles moving out from Friday after a few social media posts sparked panic of a new lockdown a day earlier, amid reimposition of Section 144 in the city. Mumbai Police had clarified there is no new lockdown in place and hence, no cause for panic, as there is only an extension of the already existing prohibitory orders that restrict public movement in Mumbai and that it was just routine procedure.