Heavy rain, traffic snarls and frayed nerves in Delhi

August 8th, 2008 - 1:23 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) Incessant rainfall brought the national capital to a near-standstill Friday morning. Snaking queues of vehicles on almost all roads was a common sight as the traffic moved at a snail’s pace and honking cars created cacophony. According to the officials at the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Delhi received 15.2 mm of rainfall in the 24 hours till Friday morning. This takes the total amount of rainfall that the city has received this month to 133.9 mm.

“The continuous rainfall has pulled down the temperature. The minimum temperature recorded this morning was 24.9 degrees Celsius, which is two degrees below normal. Yesterday (Thursday) the maximum temperature was four degrees below normal,” an IMD official told IANS.

Battling the chaos on the waterlogged roads, most office goers said that they left home earlier than usual to escape the morning rush, but were still caught in the traffic jam.

Public relation executive Aarti Sharma, who travels from Model Town in north Delhi to her south Delhi office in South Extension, said that it took her nearly double the time that she generally takes to drive to work.

“The Ring Road was absolutely choked. Two wheelers, three wheelers and the buses stood bumper to bumper. And to top that, there was the constant honking of the cars. All of that has left me tired and I am just not looking forward to work,” an exasperated Sharma said.

Abhinav Goswami, professor at Hansraj College in the Delhi University campus in noorth Delhi, said that he had to cancel his first class since he was stuck in traffic and couldn’t make it to college on time.

“I had to call one of my students and tell him that I would take their class at some other time,” he said.

Amid all the frustration, some rickshaw and auto drivers, had a field day fleecing helpless commuters.

College student Shagufta Rahman said: “Generally I pay Rs.15 to go to the Delhi University metro station. But today none of the rickshaw pullers agreed to go even at Rs.30. All drenched, I somehow managed to find one who agreed to go at that amount.”

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