Delhi is sure to get late to work and school on Thursday morning as traffic is diverted for the promenade of Commonwealth Games delegates.
But things are not expected be as bad when the actual event kicks off on October 3 next year, as various organising agencies will have a plan in place to handle traffic.
Traffic cops say Thursday’s diversions are necessary to ensure a hassle-free ride for the 200 Commonwealth Games delegates who will be visiting the games village and the different competition venues.
During October 3 and October 11, 20201, however it will be a different story.
All city schools – both government and private – have agreed to close down for 15 days during the games period.
“We have told the schools and they have agreed to align their Dusshera and winter break with the games period,” said Rakesh Mehta, Delhi chief secretary.
All Delhi University colleges too will close down during the Games period.
“The Ministry of Human Resource Development has agreed to our proposal to close all Delhi University colleges during the Games period,” said Mehta.
This, Delhi government officials say, would go a long way to decongest the city and ensure that traffic flow during the games period is smooth.
“We have also written to public sector undertakings, banks, courts and market associations to reschedule the 2010 holiday list to ensure that there are maximum number of holidays during the period the games are taking place,” said Mehta.
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna had earlier issued a direction on February 24 asking the Delhi government to ensure that courts, colleges, schools and markets adjust their holiday in such a way that they remain close on October 14, 2010 – when the closing ceremony takes place—which falls on a weekday.
The opening ceremony for the 2010 Commonwealth games is falling on a Sunday.
Delhi government has called a meeting of all the stakeholders on Monday to discuss the issue.
“Every country hosting such mega sporting events have these kind of restrictions,” said a senior Delhi government official who did not want to be quoted.
Even during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Chinese government had declared a state holiday on the day the opening ceremony took place.
During the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, the games organizers encouraged residents to take vacations during the Olympics or work staggered shifts to ensure minimal flow of traffic during that period.