Delhiites celebrated Christmas with full fervour as scores of people stepped out in their cars which led to massive traffic snarls around various parts of the Capital on Sunday.
Worst hit were the roads around market places, malls and community centres. In south Delhi, the most affected stretches were the usual arteries including Vasant Kunj, Saket, Mehrauli, Malviya Nagar, Pushp Vihar, Haus Khas and Panchsheel. In west Delhi, Subhash Nagar, Kirti Nagar and Rajouri Garden were severely affected. In east Delhi, stretches leading to ITO and Vikas Marg witnessed heavy traffic.
Joint commissioner of police, traffic, Garima Bhatnagar, said: “The traffic in south Delhi was heavy due to increased footfall in malls and market places as people came out to celebrate Christmas. Though the vehicular movement was slow which led to spiraling jams, it was still moving and there was no choc-o-bloc situation.”
Traffic was also slow near the churches in south Delhi. “We were able to manage traffic movement by evening,” she added. Commuters were stuck for hours in the outer and the inner circles of Connaught Place and roads leading to the shopping hub.
The entire Vikas Marg stretch in east Delhi came to standstill in the afternoon due to bumper-to-bumper traffic. A spike in the number of vehicle entering from neighbouring states on Christmas also forced commuters to spend a lot of time on the roads.
At the Nirman Vihar traffic signal, halting time was between 30 and 35 minutes. The situation was no different at Preet Vihar and Laxmi Nagar traffic signal. “It took me one hour to cover the stretch. The crowd was maddening on this road today and what added to the chaos was haphazard parking of vehicles on roadsides,” said LK Khurana, a commuter.
Despite heavy deployment of traffic personnel to manage the festive rush, several commuters took hours to reach their destinations. The impact of the jams around popular hangout points was 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.