Maratha march blocks Mumbai’s roads, but police ease woes
2.5K cops deployed on major roads; jams were mostly seen on Eastern Freeway, Eastern Express Highway; snarls ease considerably through the eveningmumbai Updated: Aug 10, 2017 01:13 IST
Heavy traffic jams were mostly seen on the Eastern Freeway and parts of the Eastern Express Highway on Wednesday as more than two lakh people took to the streets for the Maratha Kranti Morcha, a silent protest march by the community, which has been demanding reservation in government jobs and the education sector.
South Mumbai was the worst affected as the rally started around 11am from Jijamata Udyan in Byculla and ended around 5pm at Azad Maidan.
Around 2,500 policemen were deployed on various roads to ensure smooth traffic during peak hours, especially in the evening as protesters returned from Azad Maidan.
According to the Mumbai police, around 5,000 vehicles that came in from Thane and Navi Mumbai were parked at the Mumbai Port Trust (MPT). Of these, more than 3,000 vehicles were from Navi Mumbai and Pune alone.
Amitesh Kumar, joint commissioner of police (traffic), said in the afternoon, “Except for the morcha route, traffic movement was smooth. Snarls were reported on the Eastern Expressway (Freeway). Traffic on Western Express Highway and most parts of Eastern Express Highway was smooth.”
In the morning, heavy snarls were seen along the Eastern Freeway as participants entered the city mainly from the Eastern Freeway and parked the vehicles at the MPT.
By 3.45pm, Dr BA Road was opened for traffic till Khada Parsi. All the roads that were shut for regular traffic were thrown open by late evening. Traffic on JJ flyover was back to normal around 7pm.
In the evening, traffic was smooth on the Eastern Express Highway and the Eastern Freeway.
Protesters returning to Navi Mumbai and Pune, took the road via Wadala towards Bhakti Park and then on to the freeway towards Trombay.
For those returning to Thane, the same route was followed till Bhakti Park and then to Shivaji Nagar and on to the Ghatkopar- Mankhurd Link Road. This eased traffic congestions on the Eastern Freeway and Eastern Express Highway.
Traffic officials were deployed around every major route in the city and diverted traffic according to an advisory.
Meanwhile, motorists took to Twitter to commend the work of the Mumbai traffic police as less snarls were reported on the regular routes. The morning commute was smooth for motorists travelling along the Western Express Highway, however, traffic was heavily affected in the evening in the northbound stretch. However, traffic officials said it was not because of the morcha.