When Rahul Gandhi's visit brought traffic to a standstill

Apr 13, 2016, 09:09 IST | Tanvi Deshpande

Major roads were chock-a-block as Tuesday got a double deal — Congress V-P’s visit clubbed with BMC digging road to lay cables

While political leaders’ visits are usually meant to provide relief, traffic snarls Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road (GMLR)and Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR) caused by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Deonar dumping ground yesterday morning didn’t please people much. BMC’s cable laying drive, under which they had dug up GMLR, made matters worse.

Rahul Gandhi walked around Deonar dumping ground to assess the situation. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Rahul Gandhi walked around Deonar dumping ground to assess the situation. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

The BMC had recently begun digging GMLR to lay cables and that coupled with a large number of Congress supporters standing outside the dumping ground slowed down traffic movement in the area. As soon as Gandhi’s cavalcade arrived the traffic situations became worsened and it was only after he left that the road breathed easy. Even a portion of the SCLR had heavy traffic around 10 am.

“Usually, there are so few vehicles on this road that all the four lanes are hardly ever occupied. But today (Tuesday), there was bumper-to-bumper traffic. These politicians have troubled people on a working day during peak hours,” said Abrar Khan, a rickshaw driver.

The visit
As fire outbreaks continue at Deonar dumping ground, Rahul Gandhi’s visit is being looked at as a political step ahead of the 2017 BMC elections. Dressed in a white kurta and blue jeans, Gandhi walked for about a half kilometer inside the dumping ground. He was flanked by Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam, Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan and others.

After visiting the dump, Gandhi said, “The PM keeps talking of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan but there is a difference between words and action. The Shiv Sena-BJP coalition has been in power here (BMC) for very long. They clearly haven’t done anything. The dump has not been managed properly at all.”

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