Delhi grinds to a halt for Mohali match

March 30th, 2011 - 6:31 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 30 (IANS) Much before the clock struck 2.30 p.m. Wednesday - when the India-Pakistan World Cup semifinal was to begin in Mohali - streets here started emptying out as Delhiites trooped indoors to catch the action on TV.

A large number of people applied for a day’s casual leave at their offices, while the Delhi government gave its staff a half-day holiday.

As the captains of the two teams walked out for the toss, people queued in front of television shops to catch the action. Others were seen carrying their transistor sets with them.

Dinesh Singh, 22, a pan shop owner in Green Park, was glued to his radio set, hardly paying any attention to customers - or the lack of them.

“The number of customers has decreased today….but all I want is for India to win,” he said.

Delhi University colleges were nearly empty as students bunked classes to watch the match.

Amit Kumar, a second year student of Motilal Nehru College, told IANS: “Yesterday itself, a teacher had told us not to come to college because of the match. We also cancelled the farewell party for our seniors.”

“A television has been installed in the college library for the staff and students who have come to college today,” he added.

In east Delhi, cable operator Ramesh Tripathy said: “I arranged for electric generators and checked all the faulty wires by 10 a.m. itself. I don’t want my customers to miss even a single ball of the match.”

The Delhi Metro too was relatively deserted.

“The passenger footfalls were not much since morning. Compared to normal working days, the footfalls have gone down slightly,” a Delhi Metro official said.

However, city-based psychologist Monica Kumar cautioned against over-involvement with the cricket match.

“The hype created around a cricket match may lead a person to an altered sensorium which may last for around six to seven hours. But there is no harm as such,” she added.

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