As traders went ahead with the car rally to protest against the implementation of local body tax (LBT) on Wednesday, there were severe traffic snarls in south Mumbai and motorists had to crawl home during peak hours.
The rally, from Shivaji Park to Azad Maidan, was held from 10 am to 2 pm. "The worst-affected areas were near Siddhivinayak Temple at Prabhadevi, Century mills and Podar Hospital, Haji Ali, Peddar Road, Kemps Corner, Sukhsagar junction, Girgaum Chowpatty, Sunder Mahal junction and near Metro Cinema at Dhobi Talao," said an official from the traffic police. Traffic jams were at their peak from 11 am to 2 pm.
The police said that they had put diversions for motorists at several spots along the route. However, routes were still choked and at some spots, there were two-km long snarls.
Police claimed that protesters also turned unruly at some spots and were warned."We made announcements on loudspeakers, warning them that if they misbehave or don't adhere to restrictions, we would use force against them," said an officer who was a part of security arrangements.
The police have registered case under sections of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1932 for obstruction and under sections 37 (1) (13) and 135 of the Bombay Police Act for unlawful assembly against the organisers with the Azad Maidan, Marine Drive, Gamdevi, DB Marg and LT Marg police stations.
The traders' federation is at the helm of the ongoing agitation against local body tax (LBT), which is set to replace the octroi tax system in the state.
The business community across the state is observing an indefinite bandh against the tax, which is supposed to be implemented by October.