Torch leads to traffic troubles in New Delhi
The Beijing Olympic torch run on Thursday passed off uneventfully, but left in its wake barricaded roads, massive traffic jams and grumbling commuters trying their best to get home in a city paralysed.
The two-kilometre radius around India Gate, where the torch relay was held, was blocked for traffic with several rings of security sealing the area. With the bustling heart of the city that is also a corridor between the north and the south being cut off, there was absolute chaos.
There were no auto rickshaws, few buses, just security personnel and the sight of vehicles negotiating the snarls as traffic was diverted all over. The arterial Ring Road was jammed as were other link roads like Shanti Path.
"Will a torch like this give us any light? All the roads have been blocked," cribbed a hapless man caught in the mess.
Another traveller trying to get to Moti Bagh area from India Gate had to take a huge detour from Pusa Road to get to her destination. Also trapped was a man going from Connaught Place to IIT in south Delhi who was forced to go via Dhaula Kuan.
Though government offices around India Gate closed at 1 pm, many others were caught unawares. And many others just decided to stay on in office till the situation eased a bit.