New Delhi: Commuters in the national capital witnessed traffic nightmare due to unexpected rainfall on Friday. Adding to their suffering, the Art of Living festival, an event by Radha Soami Satsang Beas and 20,000 marriages in a day severely derailed traffic movement around every corner of the city.
Major roads across the national capital witnessed severe traffic snarls on Friday evening, giving a harrowing time to commuters. The areas, which saw severe traffic congestion, include the Noida Link Road, the NH 24 carriageway towards Nizamuddin, Ashram Chowk, the Ring Road stretch from the Bhairon Marg intersection to the mouth of the DND Flyway, around India Gate and Mandi House.
The traffic near Nizamuddin Khatta was diverted to Ashram Chowk, which worsened the condition of the already clogged intersection. Traffic snarls were also reported near ITO and Kashmere Gate ISBT after the evening showers, a traffic officer said.
By evening, the Delhi traffic police helpline number was bombarded with calls. The traffic police had deployed around 4,000 personnel on field.
“We deployed the maximum force to ensure smooth flow of traffic,” special commissioner of police (traffic) Muktesh Chander said.
The traffic police had earlier warned about congestion, especially in south and east Delhi, for the next three days, in view of the World Culture Festival, an event by the Radha Soami Satsang Beas and over 20,000 marriages scheduled to take place in the city on a single day.
Areas like Mehrauli and Chhattarpur are hubs for marriages and these areas often witness heavy traffic on days when a large number of marriages are scheduled.
For the World Culture Festival, organisers have made provisions for parking on the Yamuna banks. The space is limited and so parking will be on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Initially, around 1,700 traffic personnel were deployed for traffic management for the World Cultural Festival and around 300 were reserved for the other events to be held during the same time.
For the convenience of commuters, the traffic police kept updating traffic status on the roads on its social media accounts. Arrangements had also been made in areas which have large number of farmhouses, taken on rent for marriages, and banquet halls. Later, the number of traffic personnel on ground were doubled, the officer said.
The sudden downpour also led chaotic situation for the city police to manage security of the VVIP guests and visitors at the Art of Living event. A multi-layer security blanket was thrown over the Yamuna floodplains.
Around 12,000 police officials being deployed for the three-day World Culture Festival which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The rainfall effected the security management at the venue but we left no stone unturned to keep the venue secure. No visitors were allowed to enter the premises without getting frisked by security personnel,” said an officer....