AAP protest throws traffic out of gear, jams last hours

Crowd at Jal Board office demands water pipelines

AAP protest throws traffic out of gear, jams last hours

South Delhi witnessed massive traffic jams as hundreds of protesters from Devli, led by Aam Admi Party workers, staged a protest outside a Delhi Jal Board office in Greater Kailash. They were demanding that water lines be laid in the JJ colonies in Tigri and Devli.

The protesters blocked the BRT corridor with tree branches and by sitting on both carriage-ways of the BRT. Police remained mute spectators most of the time after initially trying to remove the protesters using mild force. However, this led to a scuffle with the demonstrators, following which any further action against them was called off.

The protest which began at about 11 am turned to be such a nightmare that by 3 pm the traffic jam on the BRT had stretched to about 10 kilometers.

Vehicles moved at a snail’s pace on the Ring Road, Josef Tito Marg, Lala Lajpat Rai Marg and August Kranti Marg. The BRT is the main road connecting south-east Delhi to most other parts of the city.
The Delhi Traffic Police was forced to barricade the road at the Siri Fort crossing and diverted the routes of the vehicle headed to central Delhi towards Aurobindo Marg and Anandlok.

The vehicles headed towards Chirag Delhi from Defence Colony were compelled to take the Lala Lajpat Rai Marg towards Nehru Place. Small stretches, which generally took five minutes to cover, took over an hour due to the chaos.

Several additional police personnel were deployed on the roads to guide the commuters and messages were sent out on social networking platforms, but they mostly proved ineffective.

Traffic officials said the problem was complicated due to construction of Metro on the Ring Roads. Through the BRT alone, over five lakh vehicles pass during the peak hours everyday. The parallel roads handle an equal number of vehicles during this time and they had to bear the entire load on Monday. This led to massive jams at several crossings in south Delhi.

Despite repeated negotiations by senior police officers, the protesters refused to end the protest. The AAP MLA from Devli Prakash Jarwal, who had joined the protesters and with whom police were mostly negotiating, refused to budge from the gates of Delhi Jal Board till the demands of the residents were met.

The protesters were requested to shift their protest to another location, but they refused. However, at around 3.30 pm, they allowed the opening of the carriageway.

The protest was called off after several demonstrators began leaving the site by 4 pm.

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