On Monday afternoon, the funeral procession of late Babasaheb Gopale brought traffic on the Eastern Express Highway to a standstill, starting from Ghatkopar.
Thousands of followers turned up for the funeral procession of the late Matang Samaj leader around 3:30 pm near Suman Nagar area of Chembur East. The crowd enforced a ‘raasta roko’ to ensure safe passage of those participating in the procession.
The south-bound lane towards Sion was completely blocked around 4 pm, leaving hundreds of vehicles stranded on the road. A 5 km traffic snarl ensued from Amar Mahal junction till Suman Nagar.
A traffic constable, who was stationed near Suman Nagar, refused to comment when a motorist asked how the crowd was allowed to block a major highway during peak hours.
Hundreds of Twitterati took to the micro-blogging platform to vent their ire. According to some, ambulances and school buses were among the vehicles stranded in the traffic jam. Both Chembur exit and Kurla approach road were also blocked.
Those who were alerted on time by friends and family resorted to taking the LBS road or Eastern Freeway.
As of 5:30 pm, the procession has crossed Sion Hospital and is headed towards Chaityabhoomi Dadar West. Traffic snarls are expected around Dadar circle, Dadar TT flyover and Shivaji Park.
Gopale was among the most prominent leaders of the Matang Samaj and fought for the community’s reservation till the very end. He breathed his last on August 22.
Update (6 pm): The procession has crossed Sena Bhavan.
— ShetraPC (@Pravinshetra) August 22, 2016
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