Traffic jam at India Gate as 2.5 lakh revellers gather to celebrate New Year
Delhi traffic police deployed more than 50 cops to manage the unprecedented rush of vehicles and people at the heart of the national capital.Updated: Jan 01, 2018, 23:43 IST
Traffic movement was choked on several roads leading to and around the India Gate in New Delhi as at least 2.5 lakh revellers thronged the iconic monument and the lawns along Rajpath to celebrate the New Year despite the cold weather, police said.
Delhi traffic police said it had deployed more than 50 cops to manage the unprecedented rush of vehicles and people at the heart of the national capital.
They also issued advisories on Twitter and radio, asking people to avoid India Gate and take alternate routes.
“Traffic will remain very heavy near India Gate C-Hexagon due to gathering of more than 1 lakh pedestrian and heavy volume of motorist. No parking available around India Gate. Advised to avoid India Gate and take alternate route,” the tweet said.
The crowds were seen throughout the day but suddenly rose past sunset. Around 7 pm, there was no sign of easing.
Delhi Metro closed two gates of Central Secretariat station which opens to Rafi Marg leading to the Rajpath lawns. At other gates and other Metro stations such as Patel Chowk and Udyog Bhavan, there were long queues of people waiting for their turns to get tickets or enter the station.
People were forced to sit on the ground as CISF personnel had a difficult time managing the rush.
Government staff leaving work and people who had spent a few hours in the area found it difficult to return home as buses had been diverted and cabs and autos were unavailable.
“I have to go to RK Puram but there have been no buses for an hour. If there is a diversion, we have not been told about it. There are no autos or cabs available,” said Mintoo an employee at the ministry of health.
“Crowding happens every New Year, but this year it is unusually higher. I wonder what people come to see here,” he said.
Subhankar Paul, a 29-year-old media professional, said he took two-and-a-half hours to reach his office in ITO from Lajpat Nagar, a distance he usually covers in 20 minutes in usual traffic, as he had to take a long detour.
(With agency inputs)