While nakabandis may be necessary to keep a check on crime in the city, their usefulness is lost on motorists when they are set up during peak rush hours. One such checkpoint, at Kherwadi junction in Bandra (East) since the past fortnight, has been causing traffic snarls and adding up to 30 minutes to the daily commute.
According to motorists who pass through the junction every day, there are at least three checkpoints in close proximity. “We go through nakabandis every other day, but I do not understand the point of one during peak hours, and that too at such short intervals. It slows down the traffic, creating a backlog that takes several minutes to clear. It takes at least half-an-hour to get through Kherwadi junction,” said Bharat Shetty, a financial consultant who stays in Goregaon and drives to his office in Dadar (West).
There was a major traffic jam at Bandra (East) at around 11am on Wednesday due to the police nakabandi which went on for about an hour.
“I had to reach Bandra to meet a friend who was flying back to the US. We decided to meet at 10.30am and I was driving from Kandivli (East). While there were jams at certain pockets on the Western Express Highway, the situation was really bad near the Kherwadi junction. It took me over an hour to travel from Bandra (East) to the western side,” Parul Joshi.
Awadhut Chauhan, senior police inspector of Kherwadi police station, said, “We do not set up nakabandis on a whim. We receive orders from the west region control room or the main control room and we have to follow them.”
SN Chaudhary, deputy commissioner of police (zone 8), said, “Nakabandis are never kept during peak hours. It is done after we receive information from the main control room to keep a tab on specific vehicles.”