Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Mumbai disrupted traffic Saturday. With VIP movement in the city, traffic in the island city and the central and western suburbs was severely affected. Police teams that carried out a dummy bandobast on Friday to ensure preparations were in order found themselves managing traffic for elongated hours on the Christmas weekend.
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Pedder Road was one of the worst affected stretches after roads around the Bandra Kurla Complex. The VVIP cavalcade had moved from Girgaum Chowpatty towards BKC on Saturday afternoon. Grant Road resident Kush Jain did not use his vehicle while travelling in south Mumbai and took the train instead. With Chowpatty heavily fortified for Modi’s visit, Jain said that the effects of the bandobast were felt till Colaba.
“Colaba was in chaos, all roads to Gateway of India and Colaba causeway were closed to traffic due to VVIP movement and there was a lot of confusion,” Jain said.
Joanna Luis said the main BKC road heading towards Bandra had been shut and Google Maps only showed a red line around BKC. She took 45 minutes more from Sion Junction to reach her SV road residence. Besides both sides of Haji Ali sea face and Worli sea face, the northbound stretch of the Western Express Highway was also congested. The road near the domestic airport was choked on Saturday due to VIP movement to the airport, traffic police officers said.
“#WEH is almost at standstill or at times very slow moving. @RidlrMUM #MumbaiTraffic,” tweeted Nachiket Dave. The weekend brought no relief to motorists on the central suburbs either, with a journey between Kings Circle and Dadar TT taking as long as 30 minutes. “At 5:15, traffic on Tilak bridge was crawling,” said Pravin Shetra. Even areas around RAK marg police station witnessed chaos, due to a bike rally, the noise pollution and blocking of traffic ,” a traffic officer said.