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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Mumbai The traffic polices barricade disaster

Mumbai: The traffic police’s barricade disaster

Updated on: 19 July,2023 06:58 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Shirish Vaktania | mailbag@mid-day.com

In effort to ease traffic chaos caused by Metro work, Vakola traffic cops set up blockades on WEH from T-1 airport exit to Vile Parle bridge, but it ends up becoming an epic six-hour mess

Mumbai: The traffic police’s barricade disaster

A traffic jam on the WEH due to the barricades put up at Vile Parle. Pics/Anurag Ahire

An experiment by the Vakola Traffic Police Division on the Western Express Highway at Vile Parle in an attempt to ease traffic congestion on Tuesday ended up giving thousands of commuters a harrowing time. The traffic police blocked the road under the Vile Parle bridge, preventing direct access from WEH to domestic airport  on the southbound side. Passengers headed to the airport (from Andheri, Borivli, etc.) were told to go upto Vakola from the Vile Parle bridge to take a U-turn to reach it.



Many residents of Vile Parle East also abandoned their autos and taxis, and had to walk home under the bridge, as they too were asked to go upto Vakola and turn back. The experiment, from 7 am to 1.30 pm, blocked the entire road on the Western Express Highway from the T-1 terminal of the domestic airport to Vile Parle bridge. Vehicles exiting T-1 on WEH were redirected under the Vile Parle bridge, and vehicles coming from Andheri, Borivli, etc. to Vile Parle were forced to use the flyover and go upto Vakola and then come back.


A traffic constable, Kishor Meher, who had been deployed at the spot from 7 am, explained the experiment. He said, “Construction of the Metro bridge is in progress parallel to the Vile Parle bridge, and four lanes have been turned into two lanes. This is causing traffic congestion at this spot, affecting the Western Express Highway. To ease the traffic, we blocked this exit at Vile Parle for vehicles coming from WEH. They were diverted onto the bridge, and had to take a U-turn from Vakola signal to go to the domestic airport. We blocked this exit on the order of our Senior PI. It was an experiment to alleviate traffic.” Many other traffic wardens assisted him and requested passengers not to stop their vehicles on WEH.

‘Will cost more’

A woman got off an auto at the spot and told mid-day, “I reside at Hanuman Nagar in Vile Parle East. I cannot go all the way to Vakola and then return, as it will cost me more.” She walked under the bridge to go home. A male passenger also got off an auto at the spot. He said, “I am already late for office, and now this road is blocked. I have to walk all the way to office. Due to this exit closure, traffic has increased all the way to the Goregaon flyover.”

Even local residents of Vile Parle travelling in autos were told to go upto Vakola and return. Pic/Anurag AhireEven local residents of Vile Parle travelling in autos were told to go upto Vakola and return. Pic/Anurag Ahire

A man who was driving a four-wheeler and wanted to go to the airport said, “My relatives are waiting outside the airport. Due to the traffic from Goregaon, I have reached Vile Parle late and now I find that I have to go all the way to Vakola for a U-turn, and come back from the Westbound side to reach the domestic airport. This is harassment by the traffic police.”

Another man who was to drop off his family at the airport was seen requesting a traffic cop to remove the barricade and allow him to go. He said, “My family is with me, and I want to reach the airport as soon as possible to drop them there. But as the exit is closed I have to go all the way to Vakola and come back. There is no traffic under the bridge, so I don't understand why the traffic cops are doing this.” Many two-wheeler riders were seen defying the traffic police and passing under the rope tied to the barricades.

A passenger speaks to a traffic policeman during the blockadeA passenger speaks to a traffic policeman during the blockade

Official speak

Senior Inspector Sandeep Yele of the Vakola Traffic Police Division said, “It was just an experiment we conducted on Tuesday morning to ease traffic. We have now reopened the route for vehicles. The construction of the Metro bridge is in progress parallel to the Vile Parle bridge on the southbound side, and this is causing traffic congestion at this spot. We are managing the traffic, but it is affecting the Western Express Highway all the way to Goregaon.” 

7am-1.30pm
The duration for which the road was blocked

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