The familiar sight of crawling cars and unending traffic snarls returned to haunt Delhiites on Monday morning, the first working day after the end of Delhi’s 15-day-long road rationing trial.
“We were expecting the jams to return on Monday. Though a similar situation was seen on Saturday but since this was a weekday and moreover, the beginning of the week, the vehicles on road increased manifold,” said Muktesh Chander, special commissioner of police (traffic).
Here are five reasons why Delhi choked on Monday.
According to Delhi Traffic Police, the number of cars on the road decreased by 30% during the first fortnight of 2016. These cars are back on the roads and thereby making most arterial roads like ITO, Ashram intersection, Dhaula Kuan, National Highway-8, Rao Tula Ram Marg,Outer Ring Road near Munirka, IIT, Hauz Khas and Chirag Dilli, Ring Road near South Extension, Lajpat Nagar and Maharani Bagh congested. Even the interior roads around Vasant Kunj, Vasant Vihar, Dwarka, Punjabi Bagh, Rajouri Garden and Defence Colony were clogged.
Hundreds of school buses also returned to the road on Monday. Delhi government had extended school holidays during the odd-even trial. Delhi Traffic Police officials said that the 15-day-long vehicle rationing scheme of the Delhi government was also successful because the schools were shut.
“The schools reopened on Monday and the school buses and private vehicles going to drop and pick up children added to traffic snarls,” said a senior traffic official. Even many parents, who had gone on vacation with their kids, were back on Monday. Delhi has 1,799 registered school buses.
Fewer traffic cops
After a rigorous schedule during these 15 odd-even days, there were fewer traffic officials on the roads to man the rush. Many leaves were cancelled during the road-rationing days and many traffic police personnel have gone on leave now.
“The situation of traffic was particularly affected because there weren’t many officials on the road. We tried our best to cause minimum inconvenience to commuters with all the available resources,” the official said.
On Monday, traffic restrictions were imposed on the Republic Day parade route on Rajpath from Vijay Chowk to India Gate. There were restrictions on the movement on traffic crossings at Rafi Marg, Janpath and Mansingh Road from 9am to noon.
Early morning fog
Delhiites woke up to a foggy Monday morning, with minimum temperature settling at six degrees Celsius. The dense fog cover which led to 21 trains being cancelled and several others delayed also ensured people got out late.