What many thought was a road trip towards their destination for the long weekend ended up becoming an arduous wait for vehicles to move, thanks to the major traffic snarls on the Mumbai-Goa Highway and Mumbai-Pune Expressway on Friday.
Thousands from the city left for various spots in Pune, Alibaug, Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar and Goa, as they got a four-day weekend because of holidays for Maharashtra Day on Friday and Buddha Purnima on Monday.
With the ongoing work near Pen on the Mumbai-Goa Highway, motorists had to wait for almost two hours to travel a distance of 1km in the afternoon. The additional deployment along the stretch by the Raigad police, too, didn’t help matters till 3pm. Thousands of vehicles were stuck near the Khalapur and Talegaon toll plazas on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, making it tough to cross even one toll naka.
“The traffic movement was slow, but it did not come to a halt. We had to put in extra effort to control the traffic till 3pm, after which the situation got better. No accident was reported on the stretch,” said Sashikant Mahavarkar, superintendent of police, Raigad.
“The construction work blocked one lane of the Mumbai-Goa Highway at various spots. People also faced problems at bottlenecks such as the area near the Amrutanjan Bridge,” he said, adding the police registered several cases of speeding and violation of traffic norms.
The traffic movement was smooth in Navi Mumbai, as cars were allowed to pass without paying toll at the Kamothe toll naka on the Sion-Panvel highway.
Pradeep Giridhar, inspector, Kalamboli, said, “Taking note of the traffic movement, we opened three lanes of the toll naka and allowed cars to pass without paying toll. Given the number of vehicles on the road, that was the only way to manage traffic.”
The Vashi toll naka, too, remained largely hassle-free.