Traffic woes continue for Delhiites (Roundup)

September 28th, 2010 - 10:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Facebook New Delhi, Sep 28 (IANS) It was yet another harrowing day on the capital’s roads Tuesday, with commuters getting stuck in long traffic jams and taking hours to reach their destinations with the shutting down of Games-exclusive lanes.
Though many complained about the hardship, some even praised the effort of Delhi Traffic Police for managing the traffic at a time when thousands of visitors are expected to visit the capital for the Oct 3-14 Games.

Ajay Chadha, Special Commissioner (Traffic), Tuesday thanked people for their cooperation in implementing the Games lanes dedicated to the movement of athletes and delegates.

“We are thankful to all the citizens for their cooperation in implementing the Games lanes. Barring very few exceptions, all the citizens are complying with the restrictions. We look forward to their continued support till Oct 16,” he wrote on Delhi traffic police’s Facebook account.

Delhi’s move to set apart road lanes for better traffic management during the mega event is being praised by many who view this as the start of a new disciplined traffic system. “It is an innovative idea, a lane kept free for CWG now. Later, we can have a lane for emergency vehicles like ambulances,” said Tejendra Khanna, who works in a multi-national company in Gurgaon and commutes daily from Noida.

The traffic jam was a problem for Khanna as he took almost double the usual time to reach his destination. However, he attributed this to the lack of practice in lane driving among Delhiites.

“We are habituated to jumping lanes, they (the Games dedicated lanes) will be beneficial as they will give a lesson in sensible driving as well,” he said.

A total of 105 km of road have been dedicated for Games traffic.

However, some commuters did not like the blocking of roads. “I commute from Mayur Vihar to Nehru Place. On regular days it takes 45-50 minutes to reach my office but now it take more than one-and-a-half hours or even two. It’s very harassing. Neither the police nor the government is seriously concerned about the problems we face,” said Swati Khanna, an executive.

Commuters from India Gate to R.K. Puram had a tough time reaching their destinations. Some students even took the day off because of commuting problems.

Amrita, who lives in Lodhi Colony, decided to skip college in the Jamia Millia Islamia University as over 1,500 Blueline buses have been taken off the roads in central and south Delhi to decongest routes during the Commonwealth Games.

Delhi traffic police have suggested several alternative roads for motorists to avoid jams. Through newspaper advertisements, traffic police have advised people to use the Metro, buses and car pools.

Heavy traffic jams were seen on key roads in south, central and east Delhi connecting Games sites, prominently National Highway-8, Sardar Patel Marg, Panchsheel Marg, Kamal Ataturk Marg, Bhisham Pitamah Marg, Lodhi Road, NH-24, Bhairon Road, Ring Road and August Kranti Marg.

The traffic police suggested that motorists take NH-8 for their movement between Delhi and Gurgaon.

Similarly, Panchsheel Marg and Kamal Ataturk Marg — where half of the total road space has been taken by the dedicated Games lane — have Kautilya Marg-Teen Murti Marg-Akbar Road and Aurobindo Marg-Tughlaq Road-Akbar Road, respectively, as alternatives.

According to advisories issued by Delhi Police, Vikas Marg and DND Flyway can be used in place of NH-24, while the commuters can take IP Marg and Bhagwan Das Road to avoid lane restrictions on Bhairon Road and Purana Quila Road.

For the traffic going to airport, the Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road has been suggested. The Rajokri Border-Shiv Murti-Dwarka Road underpass has also been put as an alternative to NH-8 that is frequented by air travellers.

Meanwhile, Delhi Metro has seen an increase in footfall as more people are opting for Metro service to avoid road traffic.

According to a Delhi Metro official, there has been an increase in ridership. “With traffic snarls and Blueline buses not plying, about 12.62 lakh people travelled by Metro yesterday (Monday). There was an extra footfall of about 65,000 commuters,” the official added.

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