Israeli President's visit drives Mumbai to the edge
Mumbai police's attempt to ensure smooth VVIP movement yesterday, inconvenienced hundreds of Mumbaikars
Pranav Gadhvi whose car was towed for the VVIP preparations, said that it took him over four hours to locate his vehicle
After Coldplay frontman Chris Martin's visit last week, the city saw another VVIP drop by yesterday. Reuven Rivlin, the President of Israel, who was in Mumbai to attend a memorial event at the Chabad House on Monday evening, probably does not enjoy such a large fan following like Martin, but he definitely kept Mumbaikars on their toes, and that too, without music.
President Rivlin, who is on a one-day visit to Mumbai. Several city dwellers were left stranded after they were caught in traffic on the road — all to ensure smooth VVIP movement. Some received the worst end of the stick, after their cars were towed from the parking space.
Pranav Gadhvi, a resident of Khetwadi had parked his Maruti Suzuki Celerio near Podar House, which is adjacent to Sitaram Dora Marg. But, when he came back after work at around 8 pm, he found that his car was missing. Surprised, Gadhvi went and enquired about his vehicle with a police standing nearby. He was informed that his car has been towed for the VVIP preparations.
However, the cop wasn't sure about the whereabouts of his car. Later, he was asked to visit the Parksite police station. But, it was just the beginning to a very long day. Gadhvi was made run from one police station to another till midnight, before he could locate his vehicle.
Like Gadhvi, several Mumbaikars rushed to Marine Drive police station to look for their towed cars. "We removed the cars for security measures, but we normally park the vehicles in the nearby areas," said a police officer, on night duty.
Not only commoners, celebrities also felt the heat. Renowned cricketer and analyst, Aakash Chopra was stranded inside the plane at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport for nearly an hour after his flight arrived from Hyderabad on Monday night. "I think when we landed, the President was taking off, so movement of buses were stopped at the airport. We had to wait inside the plane for more than an hour." They were allowed to leave only after midnight, Chopra said.
A mid-day reader also informed this reporter of an oil spill on Malad flyover. However, since traffic cops were busy with the VVIP movement, they couldn't clear the oil, causing heavy traffic jam. "Everyone was stuck due to the oil spill and the police van was blocking the flyover exit towards Santacruz," said the reader on condition of anonymity.