Several roads and bylanes from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) to Darukhana in Sewree witnessed massive traffic chaos on Monday morning, as 8,000 people from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Zopadpatti Association marched towards the Azad Maidan.
The protest, which was for hutments being demolished from the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) land, was led by senior NCP leader Nawab Mallik.
The protestors marched with placards in their hands, shouting slogans against the government and demanding action against the demolition.
Traffic police officers posted on duty said that motorists coming to south Mumbai from the suburbs had to come via the congested Mohammed Ali Road, while those going towards the suburbs from Colaba had to be diverted to the Metro Cinema.
Most of the roads in south Mumbai remained clogged with bumper to bumper traffic for more than two hours due to the protest rally, which was held during peak hours. According to the traffic police officers, they had enforced bandobast along the route of the protest and tried to manage the traffic. However, due to the peak hour rush, there were traffic snarls which created chaos among commuters.
“I could only see a sea of people and flags. It took more than an hour for me to reach Byculla from Nagpada,” said Sheniel Khan, a fashion designer who was in a taxi on her way to her shop in Byculla.
Another commuter Lipesh Shetty said that rallies should not be allowed during peak hours. “What if there is a medical emergency? The chaos due to these rallies is frustrating,” said Shetty, who works for a private firm in CST.