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Mumbai Police to motorists: Atal Setu not picnic spot, FIR against violators who stop car

vehicles parked on MTHL

The recently opened Atal Bihari Vajpayee Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) is attracting a lot of attention from the public. This 21.8 km-long sea link is the country’s longest and connects Navi Mumbai and Sewri in Mumbai. The sea link was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, and since then, many videos of the bridge have surfaced on the internet. Numerous people are stopping on the sea bridge to enjoy the view and take pictures. Mumbai police have now come forward, asking motorists not to stop on the bridge. They have also stated that they will file an FIR against violators who stop their cars.

Several videos are available online showing motorists enjoying the view from the bridge while their vehicles are parked on the side. Mumbai police shared a post on their handle, saying, “We agree that Atal Setu is definitely ‘worth a watch,’ but it’s also illegal to stop on it & click photos. You will face an FIR if you stop on MTHL.” They even included a text in the image they posted, emphasizing that Atal Setu is not a 21.8 km-long picnic spot. The bridge was inaugurated on Friday, and soon after, traffic started flowing onto the bridge.

There are videos where people are sitting on the roofs of their cars, enjoying the view. Most of them were stopping their vehicles on the side of the road, creating problems for other road users. When such incidents started increasing, the police decided to put a stop to it. They penalized as many as 264 motorists for unnecessarily stopping their vehicles on the sea link. Each motorist was issued a fine of Rs 500 for stopping on the bridge.

A Mumbai traffic police officer said, “Given the viral social media photos and videos about the sea bridge, people thronged it on Sunday for a joyride and stopped in the middle of the bridge for taking selfies, blocking the lanes. People should understand that vehicles pass by at a very high speed on the bridge, and heavy vehicles also use it. One negligent act can lead to a big accident on the bridge, which is in the middle of the sea.”

While there are reports about police issuing fines against people who stopped vehicles on the bridge, citizens have also started to react to videos of politicians doing the same thing on the bridge. Recently, a video of Kirit Somaiya, former Lok Sabha member and current Vice President of Bharatiya Janata Party’s Maharashtra unit, surfaced online. In this video, the politician was seen passing through the newly opened sea link. His escort vehicle is also accompanying him on the bridge.

The politician is recording a video on his phone, showing several cars parked on the side of the bridge. After driving for some distance, Kirit Somaiya’s official vehicle also stops on the bridge, and the politician, along with his security team, walks out of the vehicle to record a video. Kirit Somaiya shared this video on X, and people have commented under this video, asking Mumbai police whether they would take action against the politician who broke the same law as others, or if the law is not applicable to them.