Traffic snarls in Delhi as cops impose restrictions for Kanwariya movement
Commuters in Delhi on Monday were caught in long snarls with the city’s traffic police closing roads and diverting vehicular movement for kanwariyas, who entered the city in large numbers on the eve of Sawan Shivratri.
Starting early on Monday, roads around the Kalindi Kunj ghat saw a wave of saffron-clad pilgrims on foot, packed on trucks and two-wheelers. To facilitate the safe movement of the Kanwars, while avoiding major jams, the traffic police restricted traffic movement, and closed sections of certain roads.
Traffic movement was slow around Shahdara flyover, Apsara border, Seelampur tri-junction, ISBT flyover, Rani Jhansi Road, Faiz Road, Dhaula Kuan, National Highway-8, Wazirabad Road, and Loni flyover.
Though all motorists were advised to avoid Road 13A — the main road connecting Mathura Road with Kalindi Kunj— the police said traffic coming from Ashram was directed towards the U-turn below the Sarita Vihar flyover and reached Noida via the DND flyway.
“I was stuck at Mathura Road near New Friends Colony for over 25 minutes in the morning. There were two police officers trying to manage vehicles honking from all directions and with rows of kanwariyas walking. The effected stretches should have been better handles,” said Monish Bhattacharjee, a resident of Sarita Vihar, who was caught in peak-hour traffic on Monday.
Warning of the possibility of traffic jams in the area, the police said that one carriageway of Road 13A (towards Kalindi Kunj) has been set aside for the movement of Kanwariyas, and there will be no traffic on this route till July 30.
Pritha Tyagi, a regular commuter on the Patparganj Road, said a commute that takes her 10 minutes during peak-hours took her nearly half an hour on Monday.
“We respect everyone’s religious sentiments and rituals, but in many parts here Kanwariya camps have been set up right in the middle of the roads, blocking movement completely. The traffic police or the government needs to check these private camps that cause major inconvenience to the public,” she said.
Senior officials said they beefed up security arrangements across the city for Monday and Tuesday — crucial days for the movement of devotees, and have taken several security and anti-terror measures to ensure “hooligans” do not create any disturbance.
Deputy commissioner of police (northeast) Atul Kumar Thakur said special arrangements have been made to secure 52 camps set up in the district and the dedicated passages created for kanwariyas.
“Each camp has 10-15 CCTV cameras to keep a vigil on kanwariyas and other people using the camps. As per our security plan, each person has to pass through door-frame metal detectors (DFMDs) and they are being frisked using handheld metal detectors. We have installed watch towers and sandbag barriers to keep an eye on suspects. Bomb detection and disposal teams check all the camps in the morning and evening,” Thakur said.
The traffic unit has also been advising commuters to avoid roads around Shahdara flyover, Apsara border, Seelampur T-point, ISBT flyover, Rani Jhansi Road, Faiz Road, Dhaula Kuan, National Highway-8, Wazirabad Road and Loni flyover on Tuesday.
To manage traffic in high traffic stretches, the traffic department has decided to reach out to people using their social media handles.