The first major rain of the season — 12.4mm in 12 hours from 8.30am to 8.30pm — brought the city to a standstill on Thursday with waterlogged roads causing long traffic blocks. Till morning, the city received 19mm of rain.
To make matters worse, the traffic police personnel – usually deployed at almost every roundabout — were nowhere to be seen, causing congestion in peak hours. Cops were not present at roundabouts of Sectors 16/17, 17/18, 24/ 37, 20/33 and at roundabouts in most southern sectors. Traffic signals also stopped working at major intersections and roundabouts.
The chaos started 9am onwards with roads from the city leading to SAS Nagar, Zirakpur and Panchkula being blocked. A traffic cop admitted that roundabouts of Sectors 34/35, Sector 36/37, Sector 23/16, the Matka Chowk, the Transport Light Point, the Tribune Chowk remained clogged.
DSP (traffic) Rajiv Kumar Ambasta, DSP (traffic) claimed he had deployed cops on all intersections. “There was no traffic jam. Only, a few cars remained stuck. I travelled across the city around 10am, but did not encounter any jam,” he asserted.
“Most of my colleagues arrived late in office as they were stuck in snarls,” said Vinay Dhar, who works in Sector 17. “The monsoon has only begun. Already, claims of police and other authorities stand exposed.” Dhar added.
Areas that came under water were Sectors 17-18; the Madhya Marg; all inside roads of Sectors, Industrial Area near the CTU workshop, Sector 35; Chandigarh-Panchkula road near Housing Board lights and Colony number 4 and 5
Roads leading from Attawa to Sector 35, Sectors 22, 43, 44 and 45, Palsora, Burail and the Sector-29 iron market were the worst-hit. Road gullies were blocked in some southern sectors. A silver lining was that the maximum temperature on Thursday dipped 5°C below normal for this time of the year to 29.7°C. Humidity was 95%.