While a number of commuters suffered due to non-availability of cabs in the city, there were others for whom the strike by taxi drivers has come as a blessing in disguise.
For the last four days roads have been relatively less congested as almost 85-90% of the 1.5 lakh cabs, under Ola and Uber, are not plying in Delhi-NCR.
Some even went back to the days of the odd-even car rationing and pooled in with their friends or colleagues for their travel. Dr Neelam Nath, a resident of Greater Kailash-1 said the strike has rather helped her bond with her friends. “Three of my friends and me had to meet for lunch at some place. But since cabs are not available we planned in advance. One of us took our car to pick and drop the rest,” she said.
A number of stretches that are otherwise choked during peak hours were free — an unusual thing for a Monday. For instance, the area near Akshardham metro station and ITO that remains jammed during office hours was comparatively less choked.
A number of areas around metro stations like Pragati Maidan, Hauz Khaz, Saket, Akshardham and Green Park, which usually remain choked with queues of cabs, auto rickshaws and vendors, were comparatively clear than usual. “I have seen people resorting to car pooling. Bottlenecks have also eased because cabs are no longer parked along the streets,” said PK Sarkar, head of department (transport and planning) at School of Planning and Architecture.
Besides, he added that the percentage of people using Ola and Uber share option is not as much as those who use these cabs, use it on non-sharing basis. “So, overall a big number of cars are off road,” he said.
“The entire stretch from Ring Road to Barapullah and Lajpat Nagar was a breeze when I was driving there at around 5.30pm. I reached my destination at least 10 minutes quicker,” said Rajat Arora, a resident of Jungpura.
Some even took to Twitter to express their views on the issue. “No #Ola and #Uber in Delhi today. And relatively very lesser traffic on the roads today. Government should take a cue from this and strengthen its public transport network (sic),” a user said.
The few areas which did see traffic include Nairaina, Khanpur, kashmere Gate and Wazirabad. “But congestion happened in these stretches either because of an accident or breakdown of trucks or buses,” a traffic official said.