An awkwardly parked Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) crane resulted in a seven-hour-long traffic jam at Sion Hospital Flyover on Saturday morning. Since the vehicle was left stranded at the diversion point of the flyover opposite Gandhi Market, it led to choc-a-block traffic that extended till Sion Circle. Locals claimed that though they had informed traffic authorities at 5 am about the incident, nobody showed up till 9.30 am. By then, the traffic snarl had almost reached Chunabhatti.
The crane was removed from the road at Sion but its snorkel remained, leading to traffic issues. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Though the crane was moved at 12.30 pm, at the time of going to press the vehicle’s snorkel was lying at the same spot leading to minor traffic issues. The traffic police blamed civic workers for causing inconvenience to citizens.
Residents alleged that over the last five days, the road leading to Sion Circle has been under construction near the Gandhi Market junction.
Locals spotted the stranded crane in the middle of the highway at 5 am when they came out for morning walks. “I noticed the vehicle on the middle of the road and called the traffic police control room. But nobody showed up. When the officers came after three hours, they were upset about receiving the complaint early in the morning,” alleged a resident on condition of anonymity.
However, when contacted, Sudhir Suryavanshi, assistant police inspector of Matunga Traffic Police, who was handling the operations at the spot, denied the allegations. He said, “We reached the spot as soon as we received the information. We couldn’t do anything since the vehicle’s owner was absconding and wasn’t answering our calls. After calling the BMC’s road department, we learnt that the vehicle was stranded due to unavailability of fuel. The BMC then sent a driver along with diesel, who drove the vehicle away.”
Ashok Pawar, chief engineer (Roads and traffic), denied having any knowledge about the incident. He said, “The crane must have broken down. I can comment on this issue only after speaking to the concerned contractors.”