It happens every year as Diwali approaches. It has started happening this year too.
Rahul Malhotra (31), an executive with an international export firm, living in west Delhi’s Hari Nagar, decided to do a bit of Diwali shopping on Sunday evening. He was in for a nightmare.
The last weekend before Diwali, which falls on October 17, saw hordes of Delhiites out shopping. Add to that a T20 cricket match attracting crowds, two major Diwali melas (fairs), and a host of weddings being held — Delhi’s traffic flow came to a near-standstill.
“Though it was a Sunday, I took an hour to reach Dhaula Kuan, barely eight km away” he complained.
The situation is likely to worsen in coming days, say traffic police officers. Routes like the roads to Dhaula Kuan, the BRT Corridor and August Kranti Marg — to stick to south Delhi alone — are likely to be badly clogged.
“With so many things happening simultaneously in the city, congestion is natural,” said S N Shrivastava, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic). “Frankly there is no solution.”
“I would advise people to use public transport or try carpooling,” he added.
“We will have traffic police deployed till late at night and do our best.”