Traffic on most arterial roads in the Capital came to a standstill as thousands of people flocked various markets on the occasion of Dhanteras, considered to be an auspicious day for buying valuables like gold and silver.
Major traffic jams were witnessed throughout the day at Karol Bagh, Sarojini Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, Ring Road, Connaught Place, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Dhaula Kuan, Punjabi Bagh, Lakshmi Nagar and Ashram Chowk.
Amit Singh, a resident of Sarita Vihar, who commutes daily to his workplace in Connaught Place, felt the traffic mess on the roads was much more than usual. “The Dhanteras rush ensured that it took nearly double the time than usual for me to return home in the evening. The traffic jam at Ashram Chowk, which daily increases the time it takes for me to reach office and come back home, was worse than the usual days,” Singh said.
Delhi Traffic Police claimed that vehicular movement was reported to have been heavy in various parts of the city but necessary arrangements ensured smooth movement.
“We have made extra deployment at the popular markets in view of the rush. Traffic has been particularly more today as everyone was out for the festival. However, we have done our preparations,” said a senior traffic police official.
Heavy rush was also witnessed at Akshardham, Lajpat Nagar, South Extension, Sadar Bazaar, Chandni Chowk and around other key market places in the city. Even the interior roads were clogged as commuters looked for alternative routes.
They often also had to wade through the festive rush at various local markets, making it even more difficult to drive through.
“The rush has been maddening since Saturday as everyone wants to buy and take home a piece of auspicious metal or utensils on Dhanteras. However, haphazard parking all around, encroachment on the tiniest of roads and bylanes, inefficient police personnel and people’s apathy towards traffic rules aggravates the mess on such festive days when the footfall is much more,” said Sanjay Bhargav, president of Chandni Chowk Traders Association.