It was Traffic Jam on Tuesday in the suburbs of Mumbai with vehicles piling up for kilometres on end, especially in Bandra, Mahim and Khar.
With a large number of people congregating for the Urs of Maqdoom Baba at Mahim and more than that at Shivaji Park for the fiftieth death anniversary of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, commuting in Mumbai became a nightmare from Tuesday morning itself with commuters already complaining of increase in travel time from distances needing fifteen minutes to travel shooting up to over an hour.
Abhishek Samant, one such commuter who travels regularly from Vile Parle to Mahim using the SV Road was a frustrated driver on Tuesday. "I normally reach the place in half an hour skipping the rush hour on SV Road. But, as you can see people moving along with the Urs, I have already spent twenty minutes from the Bandra flyover to Michael's Church."
He added, "I started my journey by taking an auto from Vile Parle to Bandra, which itself took more than half an hour. And now I have spent almost the same time sitting in the cab waiting for the crowd to clear and give us way. Normally I reach my destination by this time."
Traffic snarls did not just stop four wheelers in their tracks but also motorcyclists. Sarup Hizli, resident of Mira Road, who started his journey at around 2 pm from his home at Mira Road to reach Portugues Church on his bike, spent almost two hours travelling the same distance on Tuesday.
Waiting at a signal on the NC Kelkar Marg he said, "I normally reach in one hour or maximum one hour and fifteen minutes. But, today it has taken unusually too much time. Today I have spent almost double the time and I am still on the road. There is too much traffic near Kandivili and Dadar area."
Travel time is not just high for the southbound traffic. Residents going towards Bandra and Andheri also faced similar delays due to crawling traffic. Siraj Qureshi, who was travelling towards Bandra from Dadar said, "Cars and busses are not moving fast on Mori Road. Till Tulsi Pipe road the traffic situation is slightly clearer but at Dadar and St Michael Church, the traffic is moving really slowly. I have spent ten minutes on this road. The traffic constables have to clear the massive SV Road traffic which adds to wait."