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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Aishwarya Rai's 20-minute visit brings traffic to halt for three hrs

HT Corespondent: , Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, September 22, 2013
First Published: 20:27 IST(22/9/2013) | Last Updated: 20:29 IST(22/9/2013)

Major chaos was witnessed on Rani Jhansi Road on Sunday noon as actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan inaugurated the new showroom of a prominent jewellers chain that she endorses.


For several hours, traffic was diverted from the road, forcing commuters to take longer, alternative routes to reach their destination.

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Though the actor's visit did not last more than 20minutes, police blocked the road for more than three hours.

Aishwarya had landed in Chandigarh on Saturday and stayed the night there. She reached the city on a chartered plane that landed at Sahnewal airport on Sunday. The actor reached the showroom by road.

The actress did not say much, responding with only a "good" when asked about her experience in the city so far. She waved at the multitude of fans who had gathered on the road outside the barricaded showroom. A lot of pushing and shoving was witnessed in the crowd with cops threatening to resort to a lathicharge for ensuring law and order.

Police officials, on the other hand, were indifferent to the convenience of commuters. "I kept asking some cops about the alternative route and how much time will it take for the road to open. But nobody answered my questions," said Rajdeep Singh, a motorist who was caught in the traffic jam on Rani Jhansi road. "Instead they kept their eyes glued to the showroom, hoping to see her."

An area resident even condemned star visits to the city, saying that such event brought the city to a standstill. "Commuters always find themselves at the receiving end," he said.

Meanwhile, some reached the Sahnewal airport to catch a better glimpse of the former Miss World. Among them was advocate Harpreet Sandhu, who presented her a copy of his book 'German Indian Law' that carried a personal note by Abhishek Bachchan. "I had once presented the book to Abhishek, who was polite enough to return me the copy with a note. I gifted it to his wife today," said a beaming Sandhu.

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