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Traffic Nightmare In Delhi, 2.5 Lakh Gather At India Gate

Traffic Nightmare In Delhi, 2.5 Lakh Gather At India Gate
The city was in a mood to party — and it showed on its roads. For more than six hours, traffic was reduced to a crawl, as more than 2.5 lakh people gathered around India Gate and Rajpath to celebrate the advent of 2018. Traffic police said the volume was several times the regular load.
The roads, which were largely empty till noon, unexpectedly turned into a traffic nightmare by 3pm. People heading to the zoo or India Gate resulted in more than 4 lakh vehicles being stranded at Mathura Road — a distance that usually takes five minutes to cover. Traffic police had deployed 40 teams around C-Hexagon: they had a crowd of 90,000 to 1 lakh in mind during the peak hours.
However, officers said the crowd suddenly started swelling around 2pm as the cold weather seemed favourable for an outing. According to an estimate, more than a lakh people travelled to India Gate from neighbouring cities; the rest were from Delhi. Around 3pm, the situation took such an alarming turn that special commissioner Dependra Pathak ordered the closure of a part of C-Hexagon near Rajpath.
Historian-author Rana Safvi recounted her nightmare: “I was out to attend a Safdar Hashmi memorial function at Constitution Club. I have been a regular to the event ever since my return to India. But the travel was so nightmarish with jams extending to Noida that it took me three hours to reach. I really don’t want to venture out again on New Year’s Day.” Traffic officers said the sudden surge in the volume could also be attributed to better metro connectivity.
A lot of people travelled to Delhi using the newly inaugurated magenta metro line. They travelled to India Gate and Delhi Zoo in auto-rickshaws and buses thereafter,” said an officer. Even Noida and Ghaziabad roads were choked. “I did not have the slightest of hints that it could take this long to reach from Noida to ITO. The route that I usually cover in half an hour took me four hours today,” said Radhika Awasthi, a traveller.
“It looks like the first evening of this new year shall be spent on road, staring at people as they curse each other,” she said. Some people parked their cars near C-Hexagon and walked to Rajpath. Arpit Singh Rana, who regularly travels from Dwarka to Daryaganj via Connaught Place, said his journey usually took around 45 minutes. “Since the traffic was hardly moving, I parked my car at Shivaji Stadium metro station and boarded a train instead. That, too, was crowded but at least I reached my destination in time,” he said.

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