Motorists in south Mumbai had a tough time negotiating traffic snarls caused by road diversions put in place for French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit.
Roads leading to south Mumbai, including the Western Express Highway near Bandra, witnessed traffic snarls for over 40 minutes till Sarkozy’s convoy passed through. On roads leading to the Gateway of India, traffic moved at a snail’s pace.
The police closed 11 roads and diverted traffic on several others. The traffic police said they had taken measures to ensure normal traffic movement, but they couldn’t do much during peak hours.
Traffic was slow in the lane leading to the Taj Mahal Hotel. The other roads where traffic was slow were E Moses Road near Mahalaxmi station, Saat Rasta (Jacob Circle), Keshavrao Khade Marg, Bapurao Jagtap Marg, Haji Ali Junction, RTI Junction, Opera House Junction, Mama Parmanand Marg, Maharshi Karve Marg and P D’Mello Road.
“It took me 20 minutes to reach the Gateway from Colaba. Roads were blocked from 11.30 am to 3 pm. The police should have prepared better,” said Shraddha Shah, a tourist from Gujarat who was visiting her sister in Colaba.
“I had to take the Bandra-Worli sealink. Traffic was normal till Khar, but when I reached Bandra flyover, there was a jam that lasted over 30 minutes as the road ahead was barricaded. I was late by an hour for my meeting,” said Santosh Singh, who works for a multinational corporation and was on his way to Churchgate.
The traffic police, however, claimed there were no problems.
“Traffic slowed only during the passage of Sarkozy’s convoy. We did not receive any complaints,” said Police Sub-Inspector S Shinde, who was at the traffic control room.