The Mumbai-Pune Expressway witnessed slow traffic movement on Friday as citizens from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) left for a holiday amid the three-day-long weekend owing to Christmas.
Residents left for nearby getaways such as Pune, Alibag, Lonavala and Mahabaleshwar to enjoy the holiday. Many others left for their native places in Raigad, Satara, Ratnagiri, among others.
On Friday, traffic congestion started mainly near Khalapur, Khopoli and some other places in Raigad.
Subhash Pujari, assistant police inspector of the state highway traffic, said, “Usually, a large number of people travel outside the city at night on the eve of a long weekend. However, because of the night curfew imposed by the government, people left their homes on Friday morning.”
The traffic movement was extremely slow after 9am as more vehicles hit the road.
“The problem was mainly on the Mumbai-Pune lane. There were no traffic congestions on the Pune-Mumbai lane. The traffic department had to deploy extra manpower to tackle the situation, which got better after 3pm,” said Pujari.
“The Mumbai-Pune Expressway usually witnesses more traffic every Saturday and Sunday. This time, however, the situation got worse as citizens have a long weekend ahead,” said a senior officer from Raigad police.