2 funerals, 1 huge traffic jam
Commuters across the city, especially on routes leading to Central Delhi, were stuck for hours as the funeral processions of former President R Venkataraman and Delhi MLA Ram Babu Sharma hit the road.delhi Updated: Jan 29, 2009 00:37 IST
Traffic on Delhi’s roads came to a standstill once again on Wednesday afternoon.
Commuters across the city, especially on routes leading to Central Delhi, were stuck for hours as the funeral processions of former President R Venkataraman and Delhi MLA Ram Babu Sharma hit the road.
Traffic snarls began at about 1.30 pm from ITO and Bahadur Shah Marg and they spilled over to connecting roads within 30 minutes.
The situation normalised only after 4.30 pm on most arterial roads in and around central Delhi.
The real problem began when the former president's funeral gun carriage started from Safdarjung Road at 2.30 pm and moved through Akbar Road, C-Hexagon of India Gate, Tilak Marg, ITO, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg and Rajghat to reach Ekta Sthal.
Queues of cars, two-wheelers and buses were a mile long on all radial roads connecting Central Delhi with various parts of the city.
Things worsened because both the processions took the busiest and most congested roads of the city to reach the cremation venue.
“It took me three hours to reach my Connaught Place office from Ashram crossing in the afternoon. The worst part was that nobody knew why traffic was not moving at all,” said Gopal Singh, an executive working with a courier company.
“Only if I knew that there would be traffic diversions, I would have surely avoided coming to ITO to meet one of my friends. I virtually spent my entire day in my car,” said Anamika Singhal, a marketing executive.
Senior traffic police officers said they had no time to inform the public about the possible traffic restrictions.
“The procession route was finalised late on Tuesday night,” said a senior traffic police officer.
Before the president’s procession, the body of Rohtash Nagar MLA and former Delhi Congress chief Ram Babu Sharma was taken from Delhi Congress headquarters at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg to Nigam Bodh Ghat on the Ring Road.
To keep traffic from clogging roads around the cremation venue, only private vehicles were allowed to move on Ring Road, from Wazirabad Road towards Ashram, and commercial vehicles were diverted to other roads.
“Since nobody was allowed to overtake the gun carriage and the procession moved at a very slow speed, normal traffic had to be stopped on various roads leading to the route of the funeral procession and diverted to other roads,” said a senior traffic police officer.