Office-goers were halted in their tracks on Tuesday morning as several arterial roads of Chandigarh were blocked by security personnel around 9am when Prime Minister Narendra Modi headed back to the airport from Capitol Complex in Sector 1 to catch a flight to New Delhi.
Though the Chandigarh administration and police did not go a security overdrive unlike last September when Modi visited the city, commuters had to put up with delays and jams during the peak office hour.
The Punjab and Haryana governments had announced that their offices would open at 11am in view of the International Yoga Day event in the state capital but the Chandigarh administration staff got no such respite.
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Mohit Kumar, a resident of Zirakpur who works at a hotel in Sector 35, Chandigarh, said: “I was stuck in the traffic jam near Tribune Chowk at 9am. It was hot and humid after the short spell of rain as we waited for almost half an hour for the traffic to clear. Buses also entered from the same route, making it difficult for two-wheeler riders.”
Lalit Kumar, a resident of Sector 37, was caught unawares and stranded near the petrol pump in Chandigarh’s upscale Sector 4 when he was returning from Sukhna Lake at 8.30am. “I was told that traffic had been halted to let the Prime Minister’s cavalcade pass after the yoga event,” he said, taking the delay in his stride.
EARLY RISERS HIT TOO
Chandigarh Police put up barricades at the roundabout of Sectors 11 and 15, a college campus hub, as a preventive measure though Yoga Day camps were conducted in the area smoothly.
Rohit Kumar, a student and a resident of Sector 16, said: “The barricades came up at 6am. Police did not allow me to go towards Sector 10 on the pretext that there was no parking space there.”
KEY ARTERIES CLOGGED
Traffic snarls were reported from key arteries linking Chandigarh with Panchkula such as IT Park, Railway Crossing light point, Transport Chowk, Sector 26 roundabout and Madhya Marg till about 10.30am.
By 11am, traffic on all routes was normal.