Mumbai police keep parked vehicles off Sewree road, make it traffic-jam free
Sustained efforts by the police over the last two months to keep parked vehicles off Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road helps ease congestion on the stretch
An untiring effort by the Mumbai police over the last two months has helped solve a three-decade old traffic issue, which blocked the movement of vehicles on the Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road. The four-lane road, which starts from Fatima School near Sewree station and ends near Aurora Cinema in Matunga, covers a distance of around four kilometres.
Since August, the Rafi Ahmed Kidwai road has been free of parked vehicles, which otherwise took up two lanes of the four-lane road. Pic/Bipin Kokate
The efforts began in August, right before the mega Maratha silent protest march, when cops began clearing the area. Before that, however, two whole lanes of the road had almost 700-800 vehicles parked on both sides, according to Bhagwat Bansod, senior police inspector, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai police stations.
"The stretch has slums next to it on the Wadala as well as Sewree side. Most of them don't have parking space, because of which they parked the vehicle on the road. A lot of the vehicles are taxis parked on a day and night basis," added Bansod.
Loud and clear
The stretch also gets congested during cultural and religious celebrations, especially when processions are taken out. Bansod claims they tried to seek a solution for the traffic, but were not getting the time to do so. However, two days before the Maratha Kranti Morcha, for which the complete stretch was going to be used, "We started clearing the vehicles by first creating awareness through loudspeakers on the complete stretch. The people who didn't remove their vehicles were warned to take them out," said Bansod.
The efforts to keep the stretch vehicle-free continued after the march as well. "After the Morcha was over, we banned parking on the road. The taxi drivers protested this and demanded parking, but we denied them. They even asked for parking from 12 am to 6 am, but that too was not possible. We asked them to use the fourth lane for parking, and in a way that heavy vehicles can easily pass," added Bansod. In addition to this, cops began warning people who still parked their vehicles and even fined Rs 200 for parking.
Solving daily issues
This initiative has greatly helped reduce traffic on the road, even from the tempos that bring garments to the market in Kidwai Nagar. The stretch remained congestion-free even during the Ganpati celebrations and Diwali.
N Ambika, deputy commissioner of police, Zone 4, said, "It has been more than two months since the initiative began and two whole roads are free of parked vehicles. This has led to ease in traffic congestion and helped solve a daily problem faced by motorists and residents." Bansod said many residents and NGOs approached them and appreciated their initiative for sorting out the issue.
Number of vehicles previously parked on the road
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