Thursday night's accident at Wadala followed by a flash strike by Western Railway motormen together made Friday a terrible day for commuters in Mumbai.
The day began badly for commuters in the eastern suburbs, with seemingly unending jams on the Eastern Express highway. The jams were a result of traffic diversions forced by the girder collapse at the Eastern Freeway project site. The General AK Vaidya Marg, also known as Wadala Road, was closed from both sides for motorists and several diversions were put in place to ease the traffic flow.
The General AK Vaidya Marg, also known as Wadala Road, was closed from both sides for motorists and several diversions were put in place to ease traffic. The traffic police said they also sent out text messages and made announcements on local radio stations to inform motorists of the diversions.
However, motorists complained that the diversions did not help much. "Despite the diversions, there was a major traffic jam. The traffic was crawling. I was stuck in Wadala for at least 45 minutes," said Navneet Agarwal, a businessman from Navi Mumbai.
In the second half of the day, citizens travelling to the western suburbs were put through commuter hell after motormen went on a flash strike. A major traffic jam was reported between Jogeshwari and Bandra on the Western Express Highway, as railway commuters were left with no choice but to take the road. Traffic police said jams on the north-bound stretch of the Western Express Highway extended late into the night.
"I left my office in Dadar at 6.30pm to get to my home in Andheri. I reached only three hours later," said Kavya Iyer, a media professional. Commuters also complained of being fleeced by rickshaw and taxi drivers. "Rickshaw drivers on the Western Express highway in Khar asked for Rs400 rupees to go to Kandivli," said Nishant Sodhi, a businessman from Kandivli.