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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

Kanwariya movement clogs traffic along Delhi-Gurgaon e-way

Mahipalpur is a known bottleneck as traffic from Gurugram, Dhaula Kuan, and the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport merges here.

gurugram Updated: Jul 30, 2019 09:10 IST
Kartik Kumar
Kartik Kumar
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Kanwariyas pulling a Maha Kanwar decorated as a temple of Lord Shiva carrying holy water collected from the Ganga river at Delhi-Gurugram expressway, Sirhaul toll plaza, in Gurugram, on Monday, July 29, 2019.
Kanwariyas pulling a Maha Kanwar decorated as a temple of Lord Shiva carrying holy water collected from the Ganga river at Delhi-Gurugram expressway, Sirhaul toll plaza, in Gurugram, on Monday, July 29, 2019.(Yogendra Kumar/HT PHOTO)
         

Traffic movement on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway was severely affected for more than six hours on Monday morning due to the movement of kanwariyas, Gurugram traffic police said. It took commuters travelling from Delhi to Gurugram up to two hours to cover 8.5km between Mahipalpur, Delhi, and Shankar Chowk. The movement on the Gurugram-Delhi carriageway was no better with a hold-up of up to 90 minutes for traffic between Dhaula Kuan and Sirhaul toll plaza. Traffic police officials said the jam started around 9am and the flow of traffic remained affected till 3pm.

“Near Mahipalpur, vehicular movement was severely hampered as kanwariyas crossed the main carriageway and gathered around a rest and refreshment stall. This slowed the traffic and eventually created a bottleneck which left the traffic backed up till Shankar Chowk, nearly 8km away,” Gurugram police traffic inspector (highway) Rajesh Kumar said.

Our personnel were deputed at all key points across Gurugram but there was little we could do other than man the traffic and wait for the bottleneck to clear on the Delhi side,” Kumar said, adding that kanwariyas also occupied the service lanes and were crossing the main carriageway on foot to reach the camp, worsening the congestion.

Mahipalpur is a known bottleneck as traffic from Gurugram, Dhaula Kuan, and the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport merges here.

According to Delhi traffic police joint commissioner Kannan Jagadeesan traffic personnel were deputed in each zone to manage the kanwariyas and traffic. “We also issued regular traffic advisory on social media platforms to inform commuters about the traffic condition in every part of the city,” he said.

At 1.19pm, Delhi traffic police also cautioned commuters about the congestion on the e-way via social media. “Traffic Alert: Traffic is heavy in the carriageway from Dhaula Kuan towards Gurugram (both carriageways) due to kanwariya movement,”@dtptraffic tweeted.

With the expressway being the main road network for Gurugram commuters to head to the airport, many reported having close calls.

“I had to take a flight to Mumbai at 2pm and almost missed it. Fortunately, the airlines had taken note of the traffic congestion and delayed boarding as many passengers had arrived at the gates in time. It was utter chaos on the roads, especially near Mahipalur. It took me two hours to reach the airport from MG Road (11km),” said Manish Sinha, a resident of Sector 28.

By 10.30am, traffic backlog had extended well into Gurugram, with many commuters stating that they had been stuck at the toll for more than an hour. “Huge traffic jam at toll from gurgaon to delhi.. #traffic is stand still since last 1.5 hrs (sic),” @subhash_bhati tweeted.

On the other carriageway, with a large number of kanwariyas returning from Haridwar, traffic between Dhaula Kuan and Sirhaul toll moved at snail’s pace.

Despite being provided with dedicated walking spaces along the service lanes of the expressway, a large number of kanwariyas opted to walk on the main carriageway ahead of their vehicles resulting in severe congestion.

“All the middle lanes were occupied by kanwariyas. There was little space for vehicles to overtake as a result of which their movement was extremely slow. It took me over 90 minutes to reach Signature Towers,” Srishti Sharma, a resident of Dwarka who works in Gurugram, said, adding that even though she leaves after 11am to avoid peak hour traffic, on Monday, none of it made any difference.

First Published: Jul 29, 2019 22:11 IST

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