Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit may have brought bumper investments to India but caused a lot of traffic misery for Delhiites on Thursday.
Commuters using arterial roads in central and south Delhi spent hours trying to negotiate mile-long jams till late in the evening because of the president’s VIP motorcade.
Metro services were also hit on the Blue Line after operations were suspended for three minutes near Pragati Maidan as the motorcade was passing.
Violent protests around Dhaula Kuan by Tibetan demonstrators also worsened the traffic situation with the police barricading the stretch around Hyderabad House for nearly three hours.
Traffic woes are set to continue on Friday, police said. People coming to Delhi from Gurgaon and Dwarka would face the most difficulty. “Traffic will not be allowed on roads between Dhaula Kuan and Panchsheel Marg till Friday noon. Commuters are advised not to use Sardar Patel Marg, Shanti Path, Kautilya Marg till 12pm but Ashoka Road will remain open,” said Muktesh Chander, special CP (traffic).
Chander said adequate traffic staff would be deployed on Friday to ensure smooth flow of traffic.
The police shut down parts of India Gate and Ring Road around 8am Thursday for Xi’s visit to Rajghat and Hyderabad House, causing bumper-to-bumper traffic in ITO, Daryaganj, Delhi Gate and Khan Market.
Most arterial roads such as Sardar Patel Marg, Ashoka Road and Dhaula Kuan were closed for Xi’s motorcade for most part of the day. As a result, nearby roads were choked by traffic from several directions. The situation didn’t improve till late evening in spite of advisories by Delhi Police mentioning alternative routes.