The traffic situation in Gurgaon eased on Saturday, but continuous downpour slowed vehicle movement even as police stationed inspector-rank officers round the clock at 14 crucial points.
Repeated spells of rain coupled with knee-deep water on National Highway-8 left thousands of commuters stranded a day ago, with police asking Delhi residents to avoid venturing into the IT hub. The traffic nightmare began Thursday after heavy evening showers.
The jams eased after prohibitory orders, which ban large gatherings and is usually reserved for troubled areas, was imposed on a key crossing for several hours on Friday.
After a fresh spell of showers on Saturday afternoon, Gurgaon Police advised heavy vehicles from Delhi to take alternate routes.
Police commissioner Navdeep Singh Virk said: “Fourteen crucial points have been chosen mainly on the NH8 (Delhi-Jaipur) and NH248 (Gurgaon-Alwar) and forces deployed 24x7 for the same.”
Virk said police officers and other personnel will work in two shifts: from 8am to 8pm and then there will be a 12-hour night shift. “These duties will continue till further orders.”
The main roads of Gurgaon, including Delhi-Gurgaon expressway, saw normal movement of vehicles in the morning, as the traffic was less due to weekend. A congestion on Sohna Road was cleared by the afternoon. Inside the city, roads and bylanes in several localities were waterlogged after the morning showers.
People avoided travelling to Gurgaon by cars. But shopping mall authorities said they did not see any significant drop in footfall.
“The footfall was normal on the past two days and Saturday as well,” Vijay Aima, the vice-president (operations) of Ambience Mall, said.
Denise Singh, the general manager of MGF Mall, said: “We did not see any drop in number of people visiting malls.”
On Friday, many motorists abandoned their vehicles and waded through water, with the gridlocks extending up to 15-20km. Some MNCs declared a day off, as their vehicles that pick and drop employees were stranded in traffic. Schools were ordered shut for the week.
Gurgaon Police and Haryana authorities were criticised after waterlogging caused massive gridlocks, which paralysed the ‘Millennium City’ and exposed India’s shoddy urban infrastructure.
A top official scotched rumours that police commissioner Virk had been transferred because he failed to tackle the traffic situation.
“The news of transfer of commissioner of police Virk is sheer rumour and there is no such order till now,” said RS Sangwan, deputy director of the National Capital Region Planning Board.
(With agency inputs)