Millennium Post

Chaos plagues city roads

The city witnessed massive traffic jams on Sunday due to several protests that took place near Rashtrapati Bhavan, chief minister’s residence, Sonia Gandhi’s residence, Janpath Road, the police headquarters, Jantar Mantar and India Gate.

In places like ITO, Parliament Street, India Gate, Jantar Mantar, Raisina Road, Rajpath, Connaught Place, Ring Road, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Rafi Marg, Purana Quila and Sansad Marg traffic came to a halt for several hours, creating a mess in the streets of Delhi.

The roads that led towards India Gate, which turned into a battle zone, were later blocked by the police.

DMRC on the directions given by Delhi police has decided to close eight stations – Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan, Race Course, Barakhamba Road, Mandi House, Khan Market and Pragati Maidan – till further notice.

‘The stations will remain closed till DMRC gets further orders from Delhi police. All the eight stations are close to India Gate. Though an interchange will be allowed at Central Secretariat station,’ said Anuj Dayal, DMRC spokesperson.

With public transport to the area also being completely cut-off, many people trying to reach India Gate complained of auto-rickshaw drivers overcharging for short distance.

Aanchal Sharma, a resident of Noida said she ended up paying Rs 200 for traveling from Rajiv Chowk metro station to India Gate. ‘I am aware that its a really short distance, but the auto-rickshaw driver was diverted from all the roads he took. I cannot blame him as the metre on the vehicle showed close to Rs 200,’ said Aanchal, who arrived at India Gate to protest with friend Shivani.

‘The roads leading to India Gate have been blocked and the traffic was diverted to avoid more chaos in the streets,’ said a traffic police official. Traffic officials were seen on most of these intersections. ‘It was necessary as section 144 of the CrPC prohibiting assembly of more than four persons was initiated in the area,’ an official said.

The move came a day after thousands of youths clashed with the police at Raisina Hills demanding speedy punishment of the accused.

But with the police force concentrating near India Gate, traffic floundered in other areas. For instance, on the ITO to Moolchand flyover stretch, there were no traffic personnel on duty and vehicles from all directions converged causing extreme inconvenience.

‘I faced such heavy traffic today near the Ring Road. I was stuck for about two hours. Finally I took a different route to reach my destination,’ says Anil Srivastav, a commuter.

Areas affected  by slow moving traffic included the roads leading to Safdarjung hospital where the victim is admitted. ‘I had just left for home from Safdarjung Enclave and have been stuck at AIIMS road for the last 30 minutes,’ said Manish Arora, a public relations executive, heading to Connaught Place.

Services were affected in the city in most parts during the peak hours due to the protests causing severe inconvenience to thousands of commuters.
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