Thousands of Delhiites in east and central Delhi were on Wednesday stuck in massive traffic jams, primarily mainly due to VIP movement in the morning near Rajghat.
Many VIPs, including President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Vice President Hamid Ansari, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, defence minister AK Antony, home minister Sushilkumar Shinde, senior BJP leaders LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj and others had gathered at Rajghat to pay tributes at Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial on his 65th death anniversary.
More than 200 school children, along with Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, were present.
Gridlocks were reported from several parts — especially east and central Delhi — with commuters complaining of having been stuck in traffic jams for several hours. The most affected roads included Ring Road, Nizamuddin bridge, ITO, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Bhairon Road, Pragati Maidan and Mandi House.
Traffic snarls were reported at Connaught Place, Kasturba Gandhi Marg and Barakhamba Road areas, where long queues of vehicles were seen moving at a slow pace.
A traffic police officer said, “Restrictions on the movement of general traffic were imposed on several roads during morning peak hours to ensure the uninterrupted movement of VIPs.”
Angry commuters, largely unaware about the restrictions, said the traffic police should have issued an advisory. Massive traffic jams on the stretch connecting Akshardham with Nizamuddin was also reported around 12.30pm.
“Traffic police should have informed about VIP movement and possible congestions,” so that we could have started early for work or taking alternative routes,” said Samrat Sanyal, who was stuck at Nizamuddin for about an hour around noon.
Chief of Delhi traffic police Sudhir Yadav, however, said the traffic jams were not only due to VIP movement but also due to the partial closure of the Kalindi Kunj bridge.