Delhi cyclothon results in chaos on roads

August 29th, 2010 - 4:52 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 29 (IANS) Adding to the woes of Delhiites, an international cycling event Sunday threw traffic out of gear in the heart of the capital as major roads were closed for the public from early morning till afternoon.
Commuters were left stranded as roads in and around central Delhi, including Rafi Marg, Rajpath, Janpath, Ashoka Road and Parliament Street, as also the inner and outer circles of Connaught Place, remained closed from 5 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. for the BSA India Hercules Cyclothon.

“I left for Vasant Kunj at around 10 in the morning. I took the Metro from Rajiv Chowk and got off at Patel Chowk. But I couldn’t get any auto, taxi or bus as the roads were closed for the marathon,” said Divya Joshi, an event-manager.

She was forced to take the Metro again for Pragati Maidan, from where she took an auto and came to her office via Ring Road.

Amit Vohra, who planned to spend his Sunday in a mall in Noida with his family, had a harrowing time being stuck in a traffic jam on Barakhamba Road.

“I had no idea that such an event was happening in Delhi. Otherwise I would have not ventured out of my home. We couldn’t cover even half a kilometre in an hour,” he said.

“Our holiday is ruined because of this cyclothon,” cribbed his 14-year-old daughter Vanshika.

Commuters felt that better public information should be in place about such events - especially in a city which is preparing for a mega event like Commonwealth Games (CWG) and is troubled by the perennial problems of traffic jams.

Around 5,000 cyclists participated in the mega-cycling event organised by the Cycling Federation of India.

The cycles were flagged off from Parliament Street, from where they moved to Rajendra Prasad Road, Janpath, Rajpath and returned to Parliament Street after completing a lap of Rajiv Chowk, as the inner circle of Connaught Place is known.

The event aimed at promoting cycling in the city. It had multiple categories comprising amateurs and corporate groups riding 25 km each and a 5 km ride for children aged between eight and 13 years.

The Delhi traffic police had Saturday issued an advisory urging early morning commuters to avoid the cyclothon route.

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