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Lok Sabha elections 2024: PM Modi’s Ghatkopar roadshow paralyses public transport, help to rescue site delayed

Updated on: 16 May,2024 07:25 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Team mid-day |

Prime minister’s security measures halt public transport, angering Mumbai residents during rush hour

Lok Sabha elections 2024: PM Modi’s Ghatkopar roadshow paralyses public transport, help to rescue site delayed

The crowd at Ghatkopar station

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Lok Sabha elections 2024: PM Modi’s Ghatkopar roadshow paralyses public transport, help to rescue site delayed

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his security protocol for the roadshow in Ghatkopar for the North East Mumbai Lok Sabha constituency candidate Mihir Kotecha stopped public transport for over two hours, inconveniencing lakhs of daily commuters during the evening rush hour. The Metro gates at Ghatkopar shut before the scheduled shutdown of 6 pm, leading to further chaos.

The security protocol asked the Mumbai Metro to pull down shutters at the extremely crowded Ghatkopar Metro station, shut down the arterial LBS road, and suspend BEST services, leading to extremely crowded and unruly scenes. Though originally, Metro services were supposed to be shut at Jagruti Nagar, one station short of the terminal Ghatkopar station, the chain effect led to chaos, eventually leading to the shutting down of shutters at other stations like Marol due to the increasing crowd.

The Metro gates closed at Ghatkopar
The Metro gates closed at Ghatkopar

According to the advisory issued, it was informed that due to security reasons, metro services would be suspended between Jagruti Nagar and Ghatkopar Metro stations from 6 pm till further notice.

Angry commuters

“The gates shut at 5.30 pm itself, leaving us in the lurch,” commuter Sushmita Mehta said. Another angry commuter said, “Please ask the prime minister to sit at home and not disturb Mumbaikars like this. Such chaotic scenes due to his protocol will ensure that his party loses the elections.” “Politicians travel in cars. They do not understand the plight of the common man. All those trying to reach Ghatkopar suffered a lot. What is the need to do such a thing in rush hour?” commuter Nikita Mehta said.

Karan Jotwani, Metro commuter (right) Harish Shah, commuter
Karan Jotwani, Metro commuter (right) Harish Shah, commuter

“Due to the road and Metro closure, there were hardships for lakhs of commuters like me. It is very unfair to shut both services like this at the same time,” commuter Harish Shah said. Karan Jotwani, a 45-year-old who runs a printing press in Marol and is a regular Metro commuter, said, “Due to shutting metro gates at Marol, it has led to complete chaos in traffic and alternate modes of transport are incapable of handling the load. Total collapse of the system.”

Cranes for rescue site delayed

“Two days after the billboard collapse, the site is still an active rescue site with bodies buried below. But on the other hand, Prime Minister Modi’s rally has been organised today from LBS Road, Ghatkopar West due to which the roads leading from Ghatkopar east to west have been completely blocked for traffic. As a result, cranes, excavators, and hydra expected to come to the rescue site were delayed,” alleged former corporator Rakhee Jadhav, president of Mumbai Regional NCP.

“On one hand, the relatives of the innocent people who lost their lives are grieving, on the other hand, there is jubilation of Prime Minister Modi and his BJP. After such a serious accident, the said roadshow should have been postponed! However, this proves that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP stalwart leaders are insensitive towards the plight of the common people,” she said.

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