A 30-minute journey between Malad and Vile Parle turned into a long tedious ride on the Western Express Highway (WEH) on Thursday afternoon.
Bumper-to-bumper traffic was reported on the WEH, with motorists complaining that they took over two hours to commute the distance. The reason — potholes.
Traffic officials said the southbound stretch just after the Andheri flyover is filled with potholes and has not been repaired despite consistent reminders to the public works department (PWD).
According to the traffic police, there was no breather after the morning peak hours. “Usually the traffic on the southbound stretch of the highway clears by 11am.
However, on Thursday, the situation continued to be bad with the Santacruz backlog extending to Malad till about 5pm.
After that, traffic between Santacruz and Andheri continued to move at snail speed, while the remaining highway cleared,” said an official from the Mumbai traffic police.
Traffic officials said the pothole-ridden stretch at Vile Parle near the Sahar Elevated Road diversion was the main reason for the jam. However, the situation become worse as several vehicles reportedly broke down on the highway.
“A dumper broke down on the Andheri flyover and an SUV stopped running near Goregaon, apart from several other vehicles.
During rains, even if a single vehicle breaks down, the traffic gets affected,” the official said.
Motorists, however, claimed that traffic snarls were witnessed regularly on the WEH since the onset of the rains.
Karan Gupta, a 26-year-old employed with a private firm in Lower Parel, said, “I drive from my house in Goregaon to work every day. Irrespective of the time, there is always traffic between Santacruz and Andheri and my commute time increases by an hour. However, on Thursday, the situation was worse and I took three hours to get to work.”