On Tuesday, traffic again came to a standstill in and around Connaught Place. More than 25,000 Anganwadi workers (health representatives) and anti-AIDS protestors descended in Delhi from all parts of the country to stage a protest against various government policies.
Traffic police say that rallies and processions take a toll on the peak hour traffic in and around central Delhi, especially when the Parliament session is on. In 2009 alone, 4346 rallies, processions and demonstrations took place in the New Delhi district alone.
The various processions choked vehicular movement on Ashoka Road, Parliament Street, Janpath, Barakhamba Road and Panchkuiyan Road.
On Tuesday, women bearing red flags were seen crossing the roads at will in large groups, obstructing the movement of vehicles.
“We got so many calls on our helpline on Tuesday from officegoers who said they had been stuck in traffic. But we simply cannot ask people not to protest, it's their democratic right,” said a police officer.
“I started from Connaught Place at 11.30 am and it took me an hour to get out of the area. I saw many women holding flags crisscrossing the roads, blocking the traffic,” said Kritika Sheth, a resident of Sarojini Nagar. Sheth was in a DTC bus that did not move for 45 minutes on Ashoka Road.
Police said the barricading of the outer circle of CP for the construction of subways also added to the chaos.
“Half the outer circle radial has been blocked for construction of subways. We had to facilitate traffic as well as movement of people. At no point of time did we stop the traffic entirely," said the officer.