Security arrangements for Summit bring Delhi to standstill

  • Soumya Pillai, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 29, 2015 01:31 IST
Not just main roads, even the colony roads were also clogged. (Photo from Twitter user @MendraDorjey )

Delhi was almost brought to a standstill by a massive traffic snarl and major roads remained jam-packed due to heavy security arrangements across the city on Wednesday, the third day of the India-Africa Forum Summit.

There were major traffic snarls as Sardar Patel Marg, Teen Murti Marg, Akbar Road, Tees January Marg, Rajesh Pilot Marg, Subramaniam Bharti Marg, Mathura Road and Bhairon Road were closed for general traffic in phases between 5:30pm and 10pm.

Since most of the police force was engaged in enabling VIP movement, many traffic intersections were clogged and no traffic official was present to assist traffic movement. Not just main roads, even the colony roads were also clogged.

“It took me half an hour to take the turn for my colony which was barely 50m away from the main road. If I did not have my vehicle I would have walked till my house and saved several hours of waiting,” said Sunil Saxena, a resident of Kalkaji.

The Delhi Police also remained worried about security breaches and sanitation workers piling the Summit venue with garbage following threats by protesters. Over 30,000 policemen were stationed at various points around the Summit venue. The orders were to stop any person or vehicle suspected to be carrying garbage bags. Several commercial and private vehicles were turned away from the venue premises following this brief.

“Vehicles carrying plastic bags, boxes or any other suspicious things were stopped from entering the security zone. This was done for maintaining security and to avoid any possible breach,” said a senior police official.

Traffic jams were also witnessed around the Outer Ring Road, near Vasant Enclave, Rao Tula Ram Marg, Moti Bagh, Munirka, IIT Delhi, Hauz Khas and Greater Kailash.

“Unattended police pickets were put up on the roads which created a bottleneck and made traffic worse. This was a badly planned event not for the delegates but for the people of the city,” said Subhadra Ramkumar, who was stuck near Rao Tula Ram Marg for over two hours.

The Ring Road, especially around Delhi Cantt and Dhaula Kuan saw vehicles stuck for hours without respite. Traffic spillovers were also seen around INA Market, Lodhi Road, Race Course, Safdarjung airport and Barapullah towards Sarai Kale Khan.

Several vehicles coming from Chanakyapuri, Lodhi Road and ITO were stopped and asked to take alternative routes. Traffic moving from ITO towards Vikas Marg, Lakshmi Nagar and Mayur Vihar was also affected.

Pickets were set up at various points around South Extension, Moolchand, Lajpat Nagar, Punjabi Bagh, Bhikaji Cama Place and Green Park which further slowed the movement of traffic.

“Have been stuck at ITO for two hours. No traffic cops on to manage the traffic. Seems like an unending wait,” Neeraj Singh, a distressed commuter tweeted.

A similar scene is expected on Thursday -- the last day of the summit when traffic movement will be restricted from 8.30am to 10.30am and again from 4pm to 8pm.

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