Rahul’s farmer rallies bring city to a grinding halt
Many arterial roads in the national Capital were clogged as Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi arrived for holding meetings with farmers in several areas on Thursday. Thousands of supporters, who joined the Gandhi’s caravan, added to jams, especially during rush hours.
Commuters were stranded and battled a harrowing time on roads as the Delhi Traffic police did not issue an alert regarding the rally. Earlier, the traffic police claimed to have made diversion plans to avert choking of major roads, but failed to do so, which exposed its ill-preparedness for the event.
Traffic crawled in all parts of the city – East, Central, South or Lutyens’ Zone. The traffic volume was comparatively high due to the ongoing festive season.
Gandhi’s first meeting at Hasanpur Chowk near Ghazipur lead to traffic bottlenecks in parts of East Delhi till Ghaziabad. When thousands of supporters gathered at the venue, NH-24 and other roads, connecting Ghaziabad or Noida to Delhi, were choc-a-bloc. Motorists had to wait for over one-and-a-half hour to cover a one-metre distance.
According to commuters, Old ITO bridge, Vikas Marg, Pragati Maidan, Bhairo Road, Preet Vihar, Mathura Road, Shakarpur, Geeta Colony, Yamuna Pusta Road were the worst-affected.
The next meeting took place at Karkari More Chowk and another at Bhairon Mandir. The final meeting was at Parliament Street. Commuters stranded on roads, connecting to the rally grounds, were caught up in the melee for hours and no traffic policeman was seen guiding them. Meanwhile, senior traffic police officials have blamed the organisers for not informing them about the exact numbers of supporters coming for the rallies.