Coronavirus outbreak: Citizens defy ban, cause km-long traffic jam on Eastern Express Highway

Updated: Mar 31, 2020, 07:40 IST | Anurag Kamble | Mumbai

Police say they have clear instructions and had no choice but to stop each vehicle to ask the reason of travel

The traffic jam on the Sion -Panvel Highway extended for up to a kilometre on Monday. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
The traffic jam on the Sion -Panvel Highway extended for up to a kilometre on Monday. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Despite clear instructions on the ban on travelling between states, citizens were found still trying to escape from the city.

Traffic piled up for almost a kilometre after nakabandi was enforced on the Sion-Panvel Highway at Mankhurd barring citizens from leaving. This, however, made things difficult for essential goods suppliers who lost valuable time on the blocked road.

The jam extended for more than a kilometre.

"People still want to leave Mumbai citing various reasons, so we have to check each and every vehicle, ask questions to the occupants about their reasons for travelling," said an officer from Mankhurd police station.

"Many of them argue with us but instructions are clear that except for vehicles carrying essentials, no one should be allowed to leave the city," the officer added.

Drivers of vehicles carrying essential goods were unhappy about the time wasted. "It's been an hour. I am waiting to move. We have to reach Sangli as soon as possible so that the vehicle will come back again to deliver milk," said Prashant Patil, driver of a milk van. "People still trying to leave the city, asking us whether we can ferry their family in exchange for thousands of rupees," he added.

DCP (Zone 6) Shashi Kumar Meena said, "People are still trying to escape from the city. We are appealing to the people not to try to defy orders and stay and home. Their disobedience is making it tough for us to do our duty as well as for those ferrying essential goods," he added.

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