Christmas celebrations brought scores of people to malls and shopping centres causing massive traffic snarls around various parts of the Capital on Friday.
Roads, particularly around central Delhi’s Connaught Place, Bengali Market, India Gate, Paharganj, and Vikas Marg in east were packed with vehicles making it difficult for motorists to cross the stretch. Parts of Saket, Vasant Kunj, Munirka, Khan Market, Rajouri Garden, Janakpuri, Chirag Dilli and Vasant Vihar were also choked. Jams started gaining momentum by noon and continued till late evening.
Commuters were stuck for hours In the outer and the inner circles of CP, trying to get out of the mess. This was the situation outside all the major shopping complexes.
“It was a holiday and we thought of going out with family but it took us around 30 minutes to reach the Vasant Kunj malls from our place in Vasant Vihar. The journey barely takes five minutes but it was like the entire city was out on the roads. Even when we reached the place it was packed with people,” said Sunil Malhotra, a shopper.
Despite heavy deployment of traffic personnel to manage the festival rush, several commuters were stuck for hours before they could manage to reach their destinations.
“A major problem was that around markets vehicles were parked along roadsides which created a gridlock like situation in prominent locations. However, it has become a trend that nowadays for most festivals there are hundreds of people who come out to shop and have fun and thus there are jams across roads,” said a senior traffic official.
The effect of the jams around popular hangout points were also seen in the neighbouring stretches. Spillovers were witnessed around the Ring Road and Outer Ring Road. Stretches around Greater Kailash parts-I and II, South Extension, Moolchand, Lajpat Nagar, Nehru Place and Chanakyapuri.
Angry and frustrated commuters lashed out at social media websites complaining about the poor management of the traffic by authorities.
“Roads blocked. No traffic policeman to be seen around. Christmas turned into a nightmare,” tweeted Suneeta Das.