Traffic jams like this one on the Sion-Panvel highway toward Navi Mumbai were a common sight on Monday

MUMBAI: Reopening of offices on Monday after nearly three months saw bumper-to-bumper traffic during morning and peak hours on arterial roads in the city. Among the worst-hit stretches were western and eastern express highways, LBS Marg, Sion-Panvel highway and Eastern Freeway. Slow movement of vehicles was also witnessed on the Mulund-Thane border from Teen Haath Naka along EEH. The traffic police activated 456 out of 644 signals on Monday that had been kept on blinker mode during lockdown.
Borivali resident Chetan Dandekar said he took an hour and 45 minutes to travel a 30-km distance from his residence to Dadar in his car. “The volume of vehicles on WEH was as high as pre-Covid times. If this continues, the government may have to bring in another complete lockdown,” said Dandekar.
“There was at least 50% increase in road traffic compared to lockdown times,” an IPS officer said. He added nakabandis would no longer be put up but random checks would continue.
The BEST increased its fleet size by 50% from Monday (700-800 more buses), while MSRTC also deployed 150 additional buses which were on city roads. With shops opening, hundreds of tempos and mini-trucks carrying supplies were on the highways, adding to traffic snarls.

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