Ratan Tata’s people’s car gave the Auto Expo its busiest day in nine years of existence, drawing a crushing 1.3 lakh people to Pragati Maidan on what could justifiably be described as Nano Sunday.
They came in their thousands, from Delhi, Haryana and UP — riding cars, buses, the Metro, and even tractors and tongas. They filled Bhairon Marg and Mathura Road, and set off traffic snarls that stopped Delhi at several places.
Jumman Khan and his family of six rode their tonga to Pragati Maidan from Old Delhi. “We wanted to see the lakhtakia. I will buy it when it is launched. This car will make my dreams of owning a car come true, anyway my horse is getting too old,” he said, grinning toothily. Someone in his mohalla was already collecting Rs-5,000 “booking deposits” for the Nano, he said.
Gurpal Singh, deputy director general of CII, said, “There is no denying in the fact that footfalls have been highest this year, and Sunday has broken all records. People are visiting all the stalls at the expo, but the main crowd puller is the Nano.”
The Small Wonder has triggered a frenzy the Trade Fair, India’s biggest annual public exhibition, would be proud of. Trade Fair 2007 attracted 30 lakh people over 14 days.
Metro ridership at the Pragati Maidan station has soared over the weekend. A total 80,000 people used the station on Saturday, eight times more than ‘normal’ Saturdays; on Sunday, the number had reached 60,000 by 8 pm, eight to 10 times the normal Sunday ridership at the station.