The past three days saw massive blockades on arterial roads in central Delhi and the resultant traffic chaos. This was the time when Delhiites badly needed updates about the traffic situation in the city. But the Delhi traffic police's unique SMS service remained defunct.
The traffic police had provided this free service to alert commuters about traffic diversions or issue traffic advisories.
The service was launched in June 2010 and has become quite popular among Delhiites. Nearly 1.07 lakh people have subscribed to this service.
But the police had to discontinue it in September 2011 after the Telephone Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) banned bulk text messages.
The service was relaunched in January this year but had to be discontinued again on December 7 reportedly following a tariff hike.
"Earlier, we had to pay less than 2 paise per SMS. But the tariff has gone up suddenly by 10 times, so we had to discontinue the service," said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic).
He said keeping in view the constant demand for SMS updates, the traffic police are now trying to restore the service as soon as possible.