Diwali rush chokes city, roads remain blocked with vehicular traffic

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Nov 09, 2015 11:41 IST
Commuters caught in a traffic jam in Sector 22, Chandigarh; and (right) a chaotic scene on an SAS Nagar road on Sunday. (Sanjeev Sharma/HT)

With city residents on a shopping spree ahead of the festival of lights, roads are chock-a-block with vehicular traffic, leading to prolonged jams.

Markets across the city are flooded with shoppers and parking spaces are full to the capacity. The chaos is at its crescendo in the evening when families are out to make the most of the festival season in terms of availing discounts and special offers.

The maximum traffic rush is on the road leading to Elante mall, and markets in Sectors 21, 22, 34 and 35. Commuters were stuck in traffic jams for half-an-hour on the road leading to Elante mall on Sunday.

The chaos outside markets was at its worst as roadside vendors encroached upon on the rod berms and parking areas to sell their goodies and shoppers jostled with each other to buy them. As the shopkeepers have extended their shops up to the parking areas in most of the markets despite instructions not to do so, shoppers parked their vehicles on roadsides, further affecting the traffic flow.

Around 650 traffic cops deployed to manage traffic were of little help as the vehicles tailed each other and moved at a snail’s pace.

Mukesh Kumar, a Panchkula resident, said traffic jams were witnessed in markets having maximum shops selling electronic items, especially in Sectors 18 and 19.

Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Zirakpur, said on Friday, it took him an hour to cross the Tribune Chowk because of the traffic jam there. “The situation was no better on Saturday despite traffic cops put on the job to manage traffic,” he added.

Rohit Kumar, a Sector 37 resident, said, “I was in the queue for about an hour before I could park my vehicle at Elante mall. I even decided to drop the idea of shopping but there was no way I could have taken a U-turn.”

Commuters had a tough time in getting their vehicles parked in the markets of Sectors 9, 15, 18, 19, 20, 22, 34, 35, 37, 40,41 and 44.

Vehicles move at snail’s pace in Mohali

SAS Nagar: Roads in SAS Nagar were brimming with vehicles and markets were chock-a-block with shoppers on Sunday. There was chaos on roads and traffic jams were witnessed at the Phases 7-8 light point. Swadeshi Mela in the Dussehra ground in Phase 8 The aggravated the problem. Other areas affected by heavy traffic were light points of Phases 3B2 and 5. Vishal Joshi, a commuter, said more cops were needed to manage traffic. “People don’t follow rules and park their cars in the middle of the roads and go for shopping. Police need to be more active during the festival season,” he said.

‘Commuting has become a torture’

Panchkula: Traffic jams are taking the joy out of festive spirits as residents here are forced to spend a lot of time on the road. Traffic snarls due to increase in number of vehicles have gone up manifolds in Panchkula. Though, like every year, police have chalked out diversions, nothing seems to have worked to reduce the woes of commuters. Traffic came to halt at the Sectors 6 and 7 junction on Sunday evening as shoppers were out avail festival discounts. The situation was no better on the road dividing Sectors 14 and 15. Sarita, a resident of Sector 9, said, “I had to wait for over 40 minutes to be able to buy something from the market. It is a torture.”

Worst affected roads

The traffic rush is maximum on Madhya Marg (Sector 26 to Matka Chowk); from Tribune Chowk to Sector 38 roundabout; Transport Chowk to Tribune Chowk; Kisan Bhawan to Matka Chowk and Sector 35 roundabout to Sector 17 lightpoint. A senior police officer said the engineering department of the UT administration didn’t take seriously their suggestions on taking some steps to ease traffic during the festival season.

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