A chaotic day of rain, Kanwarias and snarls

  • Gulam Jeelani, Hindustan Times, Gurgaon
  • Updated: Jul 29, 2016 00:27 IST
Kanwarias use the main carriageway of the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway instead of the corridor marked for them on the service lane. (Abhinav Saha/HT)

It was another chaotic day for commuters as Gurgaon roads, including the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway and service lanes, were jammed till noon because of water logging and the ongoing kanwar yatra.

Besides, the NH-8 was jammed around 10:10 am after auto and cab owners, on an indefinite strike in demand of a ban on app-based taxi services, staged a demonstration near the Shiv Murti in Mahipalpur. The road was blocked for 45 minutes, leading to congestion from Delhi to Gurgaon. It was only after police resorted to a mild lathicharge that protestors cleared the road.

“I was caught up in traffic near the Shiv Murti for half an hour. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to travel from Delhi to Gurgaon,” Ashutosh Rastogi, who travels between Delhi and Gurgaon every day, said.

The Delhi Police took to social media to inform about the congestion.

“Traffic is heavy on NH-8 in the carriageway from Dhaula Kuan towards Gurgaon due to Kanwarias movement, (sic)” Delhi Police tweeted from the official handle @dtptraffic.

The situation turned worse as groups of Kanwarias -- disciples of Lord Shiva carrying Ganga water from Haridwar,Uttarakhand, hit the service lane in large numbers. As many as three lakh Kanwarias are expected to pass through Gurgaon this year.

Traffic crawled at the entry, exit points of the expressway as some portion of the service lane is dedicated for Kanwarias on foot.

“We have directed officials on the expressway to clear the road on priority,” Hawa Singh, assistant police commissioner of Gurgaon, said.

On Thursday, Dak Kanwarias -- pilgrims who run a fixed distance and pass the Ganga water to another pilgrim of the same group in a vehicle behind — also mixed with the traffic. The Dak Kanwariyas cause blockages because of their slow vehicles.

Important crossings, including Rajiv Chowk and Subhash Chowk, were jammed till midday. Non compliance with rules and wrong-lane driving aggravated the problem.

“I was stuck on Sohna road for 40 minutes and this is a daily affair these days. Traffic officials are missing from roads,” Sanjay Kaushik of Sector 71 said.

Snarls were also reported from Iffco Chowk, South City, Huda City Centre Metro station, Jharsa Chowk, Sector 5, Netaji Subhash Chandra Marg and Hero Honda Chowk.

This chaos is despite police deploying 1,000 personnel and 400 home guards till the end of kanwar yatra.

As the situation was improving after noon, heavy rain lashed the city, choking the roads again. Some commuters said that the snarls were so long that drivers came out of their cars to wile away time.

“I was standing at Hero Honda Chowk for 2.5 hour, watching people stuck in jam. Hero Honda Chowk gets submerged after an hour’s rain,” Dr Vinod Sharma, a commuter, said.

“Water logging on several roads in Gurgaon has led to a gridlock in parts of the city. Entire traffic police is on road trying to do the best, (sic)” Gurgaon police tweeted from their official handle.

An official advisory issued by police said on Tuesday that traffic on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, notorious for jams, will be slow till kanwar yatra ends on August 1.

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