The Commonwealth Games’ closing ceremony was the beginning of the end of road discipline in the Capital. With no more lane restrictions and absence of surveillance over goods carriers plying during peak hours, unending traffic jams are back on the city roads.
More than 3,000 private vehicles clogged the heart of the city on Tuesday morning, sending the traffic police into a tizzy. It lasted for more than three hours.
“There was heavy traffic movement on routes such as the Talkatora Road and the adjoining Mother Teresa Crescent, owing to a meeting of the All India Congress Committee. Traffic had to be diverted for hours and commuters were advised to avoid the route as far as possible to clear a gridlock that VVIP movement had created,” said a traffic police officer.
The huge number of vehicles on the roads coupled with the fact that the city has just 200 designated parking spaces spread unevenly across the city, the festive season, which will kick-off with Dhanteras on Wednesday, is likely to witness more traffic woes.
“The situation is bleak. So much so that the arterial Ring Road is clogged for hours with a rush of commuters going either for shopping or to exchange Diwali gifts in their private vehicles. The number of vehicles plying on Delhi roads has already gone up by 50%," said Ajay Chadha, special commissioner of police (traffic).
The situation also worsened after the schools reopened.
“During the Games, the number of vehicles plying on roads had come down by 40% as many people had gone on vacation. We had appealed to the public to use the Metro as often as possible. It became the preferred mode of transportation but not any longer,” said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic).
With around 10% of traffic police officers currently on leave and no bidders for the Intelligent Traffic System, there will be no escaping traffic jams till well after the festive season is over.