Choked Pune-Mumbai expressway, Bengaluru highway mar festivities with many stuck in traffic
A large number of revelers have hit the road for the long weekend ahead of Christmas and New Year resulting in longer queues on the expressway and highway. Most tourists planning to make short trips during the festival preferred places such as Mahabaleshwar for holidaying. However, huge rush at Mahabaleshwar forced some tourist to leave the hill station disappointed.Updated: Dec 24, 2017 23:52 IST
Chaotic scenes were the order of the day on Sunday on the Pune-Mumbai expressway as well as the Pune-Bengaluru highway for the second consecutive day with traffic moving at snails pace in view of the holiday season. According to eyewitnesses and highway police, traffic moved at a very slow speed from Amrutanjan brigde till Khopoli exit on the expressway with complaints of long queues on both sides of the high-speed corridor.
Several motorists were stuck in traffic for hours owing to snarls and breakdowns.
“Traffic was extremely slow since Sunday morning, and we have deployed more officials on the highway. The expressway usually sees more traffic on weekends. This time, the situation is worse as people have a long weekend,” said a senior officer of the Raigad police.
A large number of revelers have hit the road for the long weekend ahead of Christmas and New Year resulting in longer queues on the expressway and highway. Most tourists planning to make short trips during the festival preferred places such as Mahabaleshwar for holidaying. However, huge rush at Mahabaleshwar forced some tourist to leave the hill station disappointed.
“I was planning to spend two days with my family at Mahabaleshwar. However, there was huge rush with hotels mostly booked. So we decided to return to Pune,” said Aniket Deshpande, IT professional.
Commuters who reached Pune from Mumbai after a tiring journey on the expressway blamed poor traffic management and lack of discipline among drivers for the congestion. “Every vehicle driver wants to reach his destination at the earliest. Lane discipline was broken and no effective action was taken by the police, thus the drivers think that they can get away with violations,” said Masood Shaikh, a resident of Ashoka Mews in Kondhwa. Shaikh claimed that he was stuck for three hours before the traffic was streamlined.
Highways SP Amol Tambe said that the police had halted Mumbai-bound traffic in Lonavla to prevention acute congestion in Khandala. Traffic movement was being allowed every hour to avoid jams ahead. “Cars and passenger vehicles have been allowed to proceed ahead through Lonavla city. These are temporary measures undertaken till traffic situation is completely streamlined on the highway,” he said.
The highway authorities said that they have deployed additional staff in Khandala ghat section to monitor the traffic situation.
On the other hand, traffic was slow on the Pune-Bengaluru highway near Satara and Khed-Shivapur as people headed to Konkan and Goa in large numbers.
The first case of a major traffic jam was reported after a trailer turned turtle on the Mumbai-bound stretch of the expressway on Saturday morning. The Pune-bound stretch too, witnessed snarls near Amrutanjan Bridge and Adoshi tunnel. Several small vehicles faced problems like overheating, clutch-plate failure and breakdown in the Ghat area, which added to the traffic chaos. Many vehicles were seen plying on the wrong lane near Khandala Ghat.