A day after the Allahabad High Court threw open the toll gates of the Delhi-Noida Direct (DND) flyway, the Ring Road and the surrounding stretches were packed with vehicles.
The rush picked up in the early morning hours with the traffic around Sarai Kale Khan, Ashram, Mathura Road and Maharani Bagh. Soon, the effect was seen in areas as far as South Extension, Mayur Vihar and Pragati Maidan.
Delhi Traffic Police, however, said it is too early to blame Thursday’s traffic jams on the toll removal.
There are other factors which have kept the city’s roads busy this week, joint commissioner of police (traffic), Garima Bhatnagar, said. “This is the week before Diwali and people are out on the roads for shopping. We will be able to give a clearer picture of the effects of the toll removal only after the festival rush subsides,” Bhatnagar said.
When HT visited the stretch on Thursday, there was a clear increase in the number of vehicles crossing the stretch.
Vehicles were seen jostling for space after ascending from the eight-lane flyway to the Ring Road. The traffic from the Sarai Kale Khan loop also added to the jams.
On the Noida end, there were no traffic cops and vehicular movement was smooth.
Commuters on the stretch remained divided on the decision of the removal of toll.
IT engineer Rachit Khuranna, who works in Noida, said he used to use the DND flyway to avoid the rush and reach office on time. On Thursday, it was packed with vehicles just like any other road in the city was, Khuranna said.
“You just have to pay the toll and there generally aren’t many vehicles. But my escape route has been taken away,” said Khuranna.
Housewife Sagraika Rawat, a resident of Mayur Vihar Phase-I, said the move was long overdue. “I crossed the toll bridge around 11am and the traffic was smooth. I think the toll queues were causing jams but now that it has gone the movement was smooth,” she said.
Commuter Anant Swarup tweeted, “Good job Allahabad court! Now that DND is toll-free we have a mother of all traffic jam in Ashram.
“Isn’t a toll for streamlining traffic and easier accessibility? By removing the toll money now achieving the opposite. Chock a block on DND!” (sic) tweeted Preeti Bakaya.