Daily commuters faced traffic pangs on Delhi-Gurgaon expressway and service lanes till afternoon as groups of Kanwarias, disciples of Lord Shiva carrying Ganga water from Haridwar, hit the roads on Monday.
Vehicles were seen stuck in long queues till 12 noon on the expressway, so much so that Delhi’s traffic police had to contact counterparts in Gurgaon to get the e-way cleared. Traffic snarls were noticed on several routes, particularly on the two-kilometre expressway stretch from Sirhaul Toll Plaza to Exit 6 on Iffco Chowk towards Gurgaon where motorists were stuck since 9:30 am.
“The jam is due to Kanwarias hitting the roads. We have directed the cops who were deployed on expressway to clear the e-way on priority,” said assistant commissioner of Gurgaon police, Hawa Singh.
This despite, Gurgaon police having put in place elaborate arrangements along the way to ensure that the movement of Kanwarias doesn’t affect the vehicular movement on expressway.
Traffic moved at snail’s pace at the entry and exit points along the expressway where major portion of the service lane has been dedicated for pilgrim movement.
“There is traffic congestion from Sirhaul Toll to Iffco chowk due to Kanwarias moving in groups on service lanes. Cops and traffic marshals are managing the traffic movement,” said a highway operator official.
Few took to micro-blogging site Twitter to express their anguish due to traffic snarls.
Delhi to Gurgaon expressway. Bad bad traffic. Thanks for sharing Arun pic.twitter.com/9fsIdihK0T— Panky (@panky26) July 25, 2016
Some tried to attract attention of the Prime Minister of India and chief minister of Haryana.
Traffic snarl was also reported from Udyog Vihar to Signature Tower leading to cascading effect on the internal roads connecting to NH-8.
Groups of Kanwarias are passing through Gurgaon en route to Shiva temples in their hometowns in the state and neighbouring Rajasthan as part of Kanwar yatra - an annual pilgrimage, one of the largest in north India. The pilgrimage, that will see more than 3 lakh Kanwarias descending on Delhi-NCR roads, will continue till August 1.
Gurgaon police and administration had put in place elaborate arrangements to ensure a smooth passage of Kanwarias. The authorities installed jersey barriers to demarcate a corridor for pilgrims on the service lanes expressway. The barriers dividing the service lanes lead to congestion on entry and exit points of the expressway.
Cops, however, were seen regulating the movement of pilgrims so that they do not hamper the vehicular movement. As many as 1,000 police personnel and 400 home guards have been deployed to manage traffic on the expressway.