In a first, a severe traffic jam that lasted for more than three hours on the Western Express Highway (WEH) on Monday led to the arrest of a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) contractor, who had dumped construction material on the flyover leading to the congestion.
Motorists travelling on the southbound stretch of the WEH were inconvenienced by pile of sand and gravel dumped beside the pavement on the highway at Jogeshwari (East). The pile had spilled over the highway covering one lane as motorcycles and cars swerved around it, officers said.
By 9am, traffic constables took notice of the congestion near Ismail Yusuf (IY) College and upon reaching the spot found the construction material. The police learnt the material was dumped on the flyover early on Monday. The gravel was to be used for the construction of a toilet near the college, an official from the Jogeshwari traffic division said.
Minutes later, additional traffic constables rushed to the spot and had to manually remove the gravel. The vain attempt to ease the congestion showed little result as a few minutes later, the traffic snarls had spread to Dahisar. By 10am, the traffic was severely affected until beyond Dahisar, an official from the traffic police said. Eventually a JCB had to be called in and the construction material was moved.
“The construction material dumped on the highway had further slowed down the traffic movement at Jogeshwari, which is already slow-moving on normal days. We have arrested the contractor,” said B Dhole, senior inspector at Jogeshwari traffic division.
Traffic officers informed the Jogeshwari police and both teams launched a hunt for the dump truck and its driver. Investigations led the police to the contractor Farooq Shaikh, who was taken into police custody and placed under arrest, officers said. Shaikh, a resident of Mazgaon, had taken the contract to reconstruct the toilet for the BMC, the police said.
The Jogeshwari police have registered a case under IPC sections 283 (danger or obstruction in public way or line of navigation), 431 (mischief or injury to public road, bridge, river or channel) and 34 (act done with common intention) against the contractor and the dumper driver.