Mumbai, 15th July 2022: Most of the working class who leave their homes at six or seven in the morning and struggle to reach their offices in Navi Mumbai, Panvel, Thane, Mumbai, got stuck in the dilemma on Shila Phata Road on Friday morning. It took the working class two hours to travel from Katai Naka to the Mumbra-Mahape divide and reach the office. As they could not reach the office even after an hour after the start of the office hours, most of the employees stuck in the traffic at Shila Phata chose to return home on Friday.
There were queues of vehicles on the road from Shila Phata to Turbhe, Mahape since Friday morning. On the way to Mahape, the drivers were getting information that the road had collapsed. Employees who came from Badlapur, Kalyan, Dombivali, Bhiwandi, Ulhasnagar areas usually take two hours to reach from Katai to Shila Phata Datta Mandir. Most of the employees thought that if there is a similar problem to reach Mahape, they will reach by evening.
The buses carrying employees of companies from Panvel, Navi Mumbai and Thane industrial estates were stuck as well. The employees of these companies were hit by a traffic jam. “For the government, semi-government offices, a short time delay to attend work due to rain is accepted. But it is not accepted with the private companies so many employees preferred to return from Shila Phata Naka,” said an employee who returned home.
Due to the long traffic jam on the Shila Phata Road, many ambulance drivers withdrew from Dombivli, Kalyan, Bhiwandi, Badlapur area to take the patient to Navi Mumbai, Thane area. No matter how much effort is put into the Shila Phata traffic jam, getting the vehicle out of the jam was a big hassle. The patient was not able to reach the hospital in time as gasoline costs go up due to congestion and the rent is not affordable. Ambulance drivers expressed regret that patients’ relatives were not paying the increased fare. Therefore, if the ambulance driver wants to take the patient to the Navi Mumbai area, he will take him within six o’clock in the morning, a relative of the patient said.
Road widening and concreting works on Kalyan Shila Phata road are progressing slowly. The work that is stalled will get started immediately. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has demanded that passengers be given the opportunity to travel on Shila Phata Road without any hindrance. For four to five years, commuters have been stranded on the Shila Phata road.
The potholes on this road, the works lying in some places are the main cause of traffic congestion. Shila Phata road is not a serviceable road to many places. Its impact is also being felt on vehicles on the main road. If an alternative road is available, it can be used to solve the dilemma. A senior traffic official said that the traffic police had reached the jam area to solve the problem.