Crawling traffic, jams galore in city

NEW DELHI: Traffic crawled on Thursday as heavy rain led to waterlogging. Commuters travelling on several arterial roads experienced traffic jams for three hours or even longer. People missed appointments, many offices deferred their important meetings and schoolchildren got stranded in their buses on their way back home. Several shops in all parts of the city were also closed. Tardy traffic movement made life go haywire.

The traffic police, amid pouring rain, took to the streets. Traffic signals were switched off and vehicle movement controlled manually several important junctions.

Said joint commissioner of police (traffic), Maxwell Pereira,‘‘It is not a traffic problem. It is a lack of a proper drainage system in the city. If the civic agencies can’t measure up, the city is bound to come to a standstill.’’ Office-goer Punit Kumar said, ‘‘I left my Laxmi Nagar residence at about 9.30 am. But it took more than an hour to cross ITO bridge.’’

Vehicles, especially scooters, spluttered and stalled in stagnant water. Otherwise always punctual, Ashok Sharma had a difficult time as his motorbike refused to move. ‘‘The exhaust pipes were inundated and it choked,’’ he said. Low-lying areas were affected. Traffic was almost stranded at ITO, especially at Tilak bridge. The road underneath Minto bridge was also inundated. New Delhi localities, including the road below the railway bridge on Africa Avenue also, witnessed traffic being stranded. Traffic police officers said they deployed extra policemen at several traffic junctions like ITO, Connaught Place, Dhaula Kuan, Nehru Place, Mayapuri and ISBT.

Commuters passing through west Delhi areas like Dhaula Kuan roundabout, Pankha Road and Jail Road also experienced long traffic jams. In south Delhi, South Extension, Kalkaji, Nehru Place and adjoining areas of Moolchand hospital also saw severe traffic bottlenecks.

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