Mumbai: Expressway traffic spoils weekend for revellers

Updated: Dec 24, 2017, 11:10 IST | Faisal Tandel | Mumbai

Mumbaikars headed out for long weekend were stranded for hours after container accident at 7 am on Saturday blocked the road until 11 am

Mumbaikars headed to Lonavala and Pune for the long weekend were caught in a massive traffic jam on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway on Saturday morning. The police said an accident involving a container caused chaos on the stretch. Thanks to the extremely slow movement of the traffic, around 35 to 40 vehicles broke down because of clutch plate or engine failure.

The traffic jam stretched from Khalapur toll naka to the Lonavala Bypass
The traffic jam stretched from Khalapur toll naka to the Lonavala Bypass

Sources from the traffic department said the accident happened at 7 am on the expressway near the Adoshi tunnel. “The IRB, which takes care of issues on the expressway, delayed sending a crane to the spot, resulting in traffic accumulating on the stretch. The two cranes were finally brought in at 11 am, after which the container was moved to the side,” said an official. The traffic jam stretched from Khalapur toll naka till the Lonavala Bypass, covering almost 17 km.

As it was the start of the long weekend, there were more vehicles than usual on the stretch. “As the traffic was moving slowly, motorists were constantly in first gear, resulting in breakdowns. Many of the vehicles had not been maintained for long, motorists said, and they paid the price when they decided to take it out for the weekend. We had to push many vehicles to the side, while a few others were pushed out of the way with the help of cranes,” said Dattarey Gadhave, senior inspector, Panvel Division Highway Traffic Police, who also supervises the expressway.

Gadhave said traffic continued to be slow till late into Saturday night. “We had organised a golden-hours window on Friday night and Saturday morning owing to the increase in traffic. All heavy vehicles with more than 10 tyres were stopped near the Amrutanjan Junction, five kilometres ahead of the Khalapur toll naka, till noon,” Gadhave said.

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