The city’s nightmare traffic, made worse by VIP restrictions in place for the India-Africa summit, on Thursday forced a woman to give birth in an auto-rickshaw in east Delhi.
Roshni, travelling to hospital with her mother-in- law in the auto as her husband Salman followed on a motorcycle, was stuck in a jam for three hours during the evening rush hour. Salman’s pleas to motorists to make way for his wife fell on deaf ears, the family later said. They said a traffic policeman responded to their request for help by telling them the route wouldn’t be cleared as they weren’t VIPs.
“When we reached Khajuri Chowk, the auto driver told us we won’t be able to make it to the hospital because of the jam. He then took an alternative route through colonies but these were also jammed,” said Salman.
A passerby, who happened to work in the area councillor’s office, saw Roshni’s plight and offered to help, he added. Roshni was taken to a private hospital near Shastri Park by MCD councillor Rekha Rani.
“By the time we got her to the hospital, the baby was partially out and the doctors did not have time to take her inside. The condition of the mother was getting worse,” Rani told HT.
The baby, a healthy boy, was delivered inside the auto at 8.45pm — a good three hours after Roshni left her home. Doctors said the baby was doing well but the mother, who received 50 stitches, was critical.
Delhi Traffic Police officials denied any knowledge of the incident.
With the central government hosting the representatives of 54 African nations at a massive summit in the city that started Monday, traffic has been thrown out of gear with major routes being blocked for VIP movement. Mile-long jams have been a routine feature these past four days, leaving commuters stranded on the roads for hours at a stretch.
With the summit ending on Thursday, the situation is expected to get better from Friday.