Traffic cops set rules for exhibition venue after huge jams last month
Huge Snarl Seen In Nov Spurs Action
Mumbai: After an international pharmaceuticals convention was held at Bombay Exhibition Centre (BEC) in Goregaon brought traffic on Western Express Highway (WEH) to a standstill last month, the traffic police have given directions to Nesco Ltd on modifications to be made before holding future events.
Senior officers in the traffic department had meetings with officials from Nesco Ltd and with exhibitors. “Directions have been given to Nesco Ltd to not accept bookings for more than 50% of the capacity of BEC for events to be conducted on weekdays. Full bookings can be accepted for events to be held on weekends,” said a highly placed official in the traffic department. “The biggest problem is of parking. Nesco Ltd has been asked to take up additional parking space nearby,” the official
This led to severe congestion on Western Express Highway and JVLR with backlogs stretching up to several kilometres said. During the convention, the police observed that visitors left the venue during evening peak hour, causing bottlenecks on WEH and JVLR. “We have issued directions that entry to exhibitions has to be stopped after 4 pm. Bandobast would have to be paid for and traffic wardens need to be hired,” the official said.
The traffic department has
Motorists, including patients and schoolchildren, were delayed by an average of 3 hrs already put up a one-way sign outside BEC; motorists wanting to go south need to head north a bit and take a U-turn. The cops have also objected to Nesco Ltd. using open spaces at the venue to put up more stalls, which only increases the number of visitors. “The organisers have been taking an NOC from the civic body but not from us,” said a senior police official.
Banker Dinesh Rane, who drives daily from Borivli to Lower Parel, says he gets stuck for 30 minutes outside BEC. “When there is absence of supporting infrastructure, exhibitions of such massive scale cannot be given the go-ahead… I have witnessed congestion as late as 11.30pm. There are other factors for snarls,” said Rane. who has tweeted to the authorities.
“BEC has been hosting exhibitions and conventions since 1992. In the past month there were some traffic build-ups, which could be attributed to factors like the construction work of the Metro project, damaged bridge in Aarey Colony, unauthorised parking, hawkers on the service road and incomplete service road. Nesco’s reaction has been immediate and proactive by collaborating with the traffic authorities to take steps to reduce and contain the traffic build up. Suggestions made by traffic police are being discussed further to manage the situation since any change to exhibitions will have significant economic impact on the city," said Dipesh Singhania, chief financial officer, Nesco Ltd.