Longest ride home: Day when NCR crawled on NH-24
I should have been home by 8pm. But, at 10, I am just entering my apartment block after having been stuck in an endless traffic jam - one of the worst I have witnessed in my three years’ stay in Delhi.
It was just another day at office for me. I started for home at 7.30 pm and was expected to reach my house in Vasundhara, Ghaziabad, by 8pm — taking the usual commuting time of 25-30 minutes.
As soon as I came out on NH-24, I realised something massive had gone wrong. There were vehicles all over, stuck in a serpentine queue. Immediately, I thanked my stars that I did not bring my car to work. My two-wheeler would help me negotiate the narrow crevices between a crowd of cars. Or so, I thought.
After waiting for over half an hour, I realised I had not moved an inch. So, I decided to take a detour. What I didn’t realise was that I was going further into the rabbit’s hole.
I reached ITO from where I had planned to take the Vikas Marg to Anand Vihar and from there to Vasundhara. But, there was no space to move on ITO too. So, I was forced to take another detour and took the disused canal road that goes through Geeta Colony and runs parallel to Vikas Marg.
From there, I reached Anand Vihar but by then the traffic volume had only gone up. I was stuck there for over 45 minutes before I could cross into Ghaziabad.
It was already 10 when I entered my house. This was probably the longest I had taken to reach home from my office in Mayur Vihar.
It was only after I reached home that I got to know about a protest by members of the minority community, who had set afire a bus on the Ghazipur border.
Due to the protest, the entire four to five-km stretch from UP-Gate to CISF-crossing over NH-24 had been made out-of-bound for commuters and the heavy traffic coming from Lal Kuan had been diverted through the CISF road and Indirapuram.
Traffic snarls, however, continued all along the 18-km-long stretch in Ghaziabad and also over the Link-Road area which connects Anand Vihar to Mohan Nagar.