Five reasons why Delhi choked on Monday after odd-even fortnight

  • Soumya Pillai and Ritam Halder, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 18, 2016 22:44 IST
Huge traffic jam was occured due to restricted vehicular movement for Republic Day rehearsal on Monday, January 18, 2016, the first weekday after the odd-even trial period ended. (Sushil Kumar / HT Photo )

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.

More cars

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.

Schools reopen

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.

Citizens were seen wrapped in woolen clothes on a cold and foggy morning, at Mayur Vihar in New Delhi, India, on Monday, January 18, 2016. (Hindustan Times)

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.

Indian army soldiers march past during rehearsals for the upcoming Republic Day Parade 2016 at Rajpath, in New Delhi, India. (Hindustan Times)

R-Day rehearsals

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.

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