Sunday's traffic chaos magnified on Monday as people returned to work after a weekend. With major arterial roads shut and public transport also playing truant, massive jams were witnessed on city roads.
In an attempt to prevent irate Delhiites protesting against the recent gangrape incident from reaching Rashtrapati Bhawan or India Gate, the authorities have ordered restrictions on traffic movement in Central Delhi.
All roads leading to India Gate and the entire Central Vista have been blocked and nine important Metro stations in New Delhi are shut.
The closure of these roads had a ripple effect, with massive traffic jams reported from across the city including Mathura Road, Dhaula Kuan, Willington Crescent and Sardar Patel Marg among others.
"We opened all the roads at 9pm. These will be again out of bound on Tuesday," said a senior traffic police officer.
The Metro stations, closed since morning, were opened only after 9pm. Together, these stations get a footfall of about seven lakh people every day. According to Delhi Metro spokesperson, these stations will remain closed on Tuesday also.
"Closure of so many Metro stations for so long has never happened in the 10-year history of Delhi Metro," he said. But DMRC officials did open one or two gates for the public at the two inter-change stations during evening.
The decision to close 14 arterial roads and nine Metro stations was taken late last night. That is why thousands of office-goers had difficulty reaching their respective workplaces this morning. Overcharging by autorickshaws only added to their woes.
While some reached their offices late, many had to return midway. "I got off the Metro at the New Delhi railway station as I had to reach KG Marg. Auto drivers tried to fleece me by demanding Rs.100 for a distance that only costs Rs.30. I tried to seek help from local and traffic police personnel but all I got was excuses from them," said Priya Shergil of Shalimar Bagh.
Randeep Saxena of Malviva Nagar had to call off an important meeting at Connaught Place as he could not reach central Delhi.
"I boarded a DTC bus from Ansal Plaza for CP, which the cops stopped at Maharani Bagh. I had to get down and return home as there was no means available to reach CP."