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Hyped Bieber show turns traffic nightmare for fans

Published On : 12 May 2017   |  Reported By : Courtesy : The Hindu   |  Pic On: Photo credit : The Hindu

Mumbai (The Hindu): The much-hyped Justin Bieber concert turned into a traffic nightmare for the 45,000-strong audience as they tried to make their way back home. Many fans were stuck in traffic outside the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai till midnight on Wednesday.

For Ananya Gupta (15), a die-hard Bieber fan, five hours of fun turned hellish. “It was the best day of my life, my first-ever concert, a dream come true. However, once the concert ended, the nightmare started. I was stranded outside the stadium from 10 p.m. till 1 a.m. as my father who was on his way to pick me up got stuck in traffic. I reached home after three long hours.”

Anushka Dev, who had come all the way from Jaipur to attend the concert, said, “After the concert we were huddled for three hours on a pathway leading towards the nearest exit. Poor mobile connectivity, low battery, tired legs and a growling stomach worsened the ordeal. We were able to step out only by 12.30 a.m. and I reached home at 2 a.m.”

Anxious parents

Bhawana, whose children were at the concert, said, “I had tough time getting in touch with my kids. We were able to reach them only after three hours. We need better managed events in Navi Mumbai. We have excellent infrastructure, but poor management of traffic.” Padmaja Duvvuri, a resident of Nerul, said, “There was no mobile network and my kids couldn’t book a taxi. We dialled the police helpline, but no one answered our calls. With the help of friends I managed to reach my kids after one-and-a-half hours.”

Kiara Murthy said, “The concert lived up to my expectations. Everything from the dancers to the fireworks made me feel it was worth the money. But the concert ended with all the lights going off. There were no one to handle the crowd. There were thousands of people waiting to go home and no one to guide them to the exit. No arrangements were made for people who didn’t come in private vehicles. The phone networks were jammed so there was no way to book cabs and contact one’s family.” Ms. Murthy added, “A friend and I waited for my mother at LP bus stand and there we saw an ambulance stuck in traffic. Only people with VVIP tickets were able to find a way out. Is this what we show to international celebrities that India only cares about people who have money? I hope the Ed Sheeran concert doesn’t end the same way. Hopefully they will learn from this experience.”

Senior Police Inspector Shinde of Turbhe Traffic Unit said, “The areas from Raheja to Uran phata was clogged with traffic soon after the concert. But we cleared the traffic and vehicles started moving.” Mr. Shinde said people were booking Ola and Uber taxis and this worsened the traffic congestion at the venue.

Nitin Pawar, DCP Traffic, Navi Mumbai, said, “DY Patil Stadium is not the ideal place to manage traffic as it is located near a highway. We had clearly told the organisers to allot spaces for fans to park their vehicles. But they didn’t follow our instructions. Around 90% of vehicles ended up being parked at Raheja ground opposite the stadium and after the show the fans descended on the road leading to the ground. So to prevent the people crossing the road from getting hurt our personnel slowed down the vehicles. We did a good job of managing the traffic.”

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