Traffic restrictions in central Delhi’s Connaught Place, a day before International Day of Yoga, led to major chaos on the roads on Monday. The rain added to the mess and by the evening, the snarls cascaded to other parts of the city, bringing the city to almost a standstill.
Traffic movement was hit in the neighbouring towns of Noida and Gurgaon.
The inner circle of CP and the radial roads leading to the outer circle were closed for traffic from 9.30am. The result: vehicles clogged the outer circle and choked nearby areas such as Barakhamba Road, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, Janpath, Minto Road, and Baba Kharag Singh Marg.
On-road parking ate up half the road space on the outer circle of CP and caused jams.
“Since the parking lots on the radial roads and on the inner circle were not accessible, people started parking cars from where the barricades were put up. Around several blocks, traffic was choc-a-bloc because of the illegally parked vehicles. We could not move them because the restriction was a genuine inconvenience and there was no alternative space where people could park,” said a senior official of the Delhi Police.
Spillovers were seen around ITO intersection, India Gate roundabout, Race Course, Teen Murti, Sardar Patel Marg, Mother Teresa Crescent, and Sarojini Nagar.
Stretches around South Extension, Lajpat Nagar, Moti Bagh, Patel Nagar, Kirti Nagar, and Tilak Nagar had knee-deep water, which slowed traffic movement.
The office rush added to the jams in the evening.
Some commuters took to social media to vent their frustration.
“No yoga day can ease the frustration today’s traffic is causing. Stuck at Akshardham for over an hour,” tweeted Raghu.
Rain threw traffic out of gear on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway and service lanes.
Sporadic traffic snarls were reported towards Delhi from Hero Honda Chowk till Ambience Mall. The worst affected area was a two-kilometre stretch from South City to Iffco Chowk and vehicles were forced to crawl because of knee-deep water on service lanes and the main carriageway.
Commuters were stuck in jams in Noida as well.
“Traffic moved at snail’s pace in Sector 18 and since we were on a bike, we had no choice but to enjoy the rains. We reached home late,” said Ruchir Kumar, a commuter.