Rally within city limits makes motorists fume

Despite elaborate arrangements made by police for the Congress rally in Ramlila Maidan on Sunday, a traffic nightmare unfolded in the heart of the Capital. Vehicles were not moving at all in several areas, creating problems for commuters.

Traffic on roads leading to central Delhi remained chock-a-block till evening as police were unable to manage the flow of the vehicles travelling to and from the rally venue.

Roads leading to the venue were choked with vehicles carrying party workers from Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, UP and adjoining states. Long serpentine queues of vehicles were seen on Tilak Marg, Mathura Road-Bhairon Road, Dhaula Kuan, Dr Dinesh Nandani Dalmia Chowk, Jhandewalan, Chatta Rail Chowk and New Darya Ganj Road.

Anand Sharma, a resident of Mahipalpur, said he reached a family function in Karol Bagh two hours late due to severe traffic restrictions. “It usually takes me half-an-hour to reach, but on Sunday I was stuck near Jhandewalan for around an hour,” he said.

Traffic congestion was seen from 8 am till two hours after the dispersal of the rally.
To reduce jams, goods vehicle were diverted to Wazirabad T-point, Chandagi Ram Akhara, ISBT loop to Shahadra, eastern foot of ISBT Yamuna bridge and Laxmi Nagar, among other places But these were of no avail. People trying to reach New Delhi railway station and Lok Nayak Hospital were also stuck in traffic.

Another commuter, Divya, said the government should try to avoid conducting such events in the heart of the city. “If they organise it, the traffic manager should be more visionary and chalk out neat and clear plans to manage it,” said the Mayur Vihar resident.

Similarly, another commuter Kanika said, “Police had promised to minimise traffic jam to a bare minimum. But the situation on the roads has a different story to narrate.”

Chaos in south Delhi

The cascading effect of the rally was troublesome for hundreds of commuters in south Delhi also. The entire stretch from Ashram flyover on Ring Road to Bikaji Cama Place near R K Puram was choked with vehicles. Those trying to exit from arterial roads near Dilli Haat and Sarojini Nagar were also trapped due to the added rush of Diwali shoppers.

“The rally means nothing to us. It has already affected my day’s business. I’ve been stuck here for an hour and have not got a single passenger,” said an auto driver in Sarojini Nagar.

A cab driver who had to see off his relatives in New Delhi Railway Station was fuming. “Neither I could meet them nor run my taxi to ferry people in this rush. What’s the point of the rally? It only inconveniences people,” said Ramesh Gupta, a private cab driver.

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