Traffic in the capital crawled for hours, as devotees thronged river Yamuna's banks across the city on the occasion Chhat Puja on Friday. However, traffic police said condition on Saturday wouldn't be any better, because of the Jagannath Rath Yatra in the afternoon.
Throughout the day on Friday, massive traffic snarls were reported from Wazirabad Road and ISBT in north Delhi, Ashram and Badarpur in southeast Delhi, Kondli Bridge in east Delhi, and Lok Nayak Setu that connects east Delhi to the ITO.
“The rush was due to large crowds making their way to the Yamuna’s banks to perform religious ceremonies. Most congestion was reported from Lok Nayak Setu around 4pm,” said a senior Delhi Traffic Police officer, requesting anonymity.
To manage the traffic situation, more than 350 traffic police officers were deployed on various routes across the city. However, those deployed along the Lok Nayak Setu to ensure smooth flow of traffic towards ITO proved ineffective as buses, two-wheelers and cars jostled for space on either carriageway.
“Those coming for the puja parked their vehicles all along the left side of the carriageway leaving very little space even for two-wheeler riders like me,” a 25-year-old resident of Mayur Vihar, Ganesh Verma, said. He said it took him more than 45 minutes to reach ITO from Akshardham flyover.
“We expect congestion on routes leading to central Delhi from north Delhi on Saturday, too. Commuters are advised to avoid Asaf Ali Road, Lahori Gate, Daryaganj and Paharganj, where traffic will be slow due to Jagannath Rath Yatra from noon to 7pm,” the officer said.