Pre-Diwali shopping spree forced the police to make more than a hundred traffic signals, mostly in central and south Delhi, dysfunctional during the evening peak hours on Friday. This left commuters fuming for hours as they waded through jams on arterial roads.
The traffic police had to deliberately take to the ‘arm-by-arm’ approach of manually regulating traffic, which saw a jump of 40% owing to Diwali shopping spree, with the entire force of about 6,000 personnel out on the streets.
At least a hundred-odd traffic signals located on arterial stretches such as Ring Road, outer Ring Road, Sadar Bazar, New Rohtak Road, Vikas Marg, Aurobindo Marg, the Mehrauli-Badarpur Road, the Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road and GT Karnal Road, had to be switched-off during peak hours. “Because of congestion on the Ring Road, dislocations were reported from various parts of the city,” admitted Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic). He said the situation is likely to remain the same till Tuesday.
Coupled with VIP movement in central Delhi, the Mandi House area was the worst-affected with the police being forced to switch-off the traffic signal to facilitate the Nepalese Prime Minister attend a function at Hyderabad House in the evening.
With vehicular movement suspended on the entire W-point which includes Tilak Marg, Sikandara Road and Ram Charan Aggarwal Chowk for at least half an hour, this had a ripple effect in varying degrees on the entire city’s traffic.