Japjeet Duggal Long queues were witnessed on the entire Dakshin Marg, commonly called the Ambala Road from 7 pm onwards after the Bharat Vijay Rally of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate concluded in Chandigarh. Most of the traffic congestion was caused due to buses that were ferrying residents from outskirts and the nearby villages of Chandigarh to the venue. All the major city roads were flooded with cars and buses.
Chandigarh Police on Saturday made elaborate security arrangements for Modi’s rally at the Sector 34 exhibition ground. Most shops in Sector 34 were closed as the entry points to the sector were sealed. Parking area of Sector 34 market was blocked from 9 am on Saturday by traffic cops. Vinay Gulati, a shopkeeper in Sector 34 said, “We were not allowed to park our cars in the market so we parked them in the residential area.”
At 4 pm, police blocked the roads from Sector 33-34 round about till Sector 34 C market. Traffic was diverted from the residential roads of the sector. Residents were forced to use alternate routes to reach their homes.
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After Modi’s plane landed around 5.15 pm in the city, traffic from the Airport light point till the intersection of Sector 29 and 31 was stopped for about 10 minutes. From the intersection of Sector 29-31, the fleet of vehicles took a left and reached Sector 34 from the dividing road of sector 33-45. Traffic from Mohali was also stopped for about 10 minutes. The traffic situation at Madhya Marg was also affected.
The inner roads of Sector 34 and the service lane near the passport office was chock-o-block soon after the rally got over. Some residents started leaving the venue even before Modi’s speech was over. Mona, a resident of Sector 19 said, “I came here as my son wanted to see Modi. However, we will leave soon as we do not want to be stuck in traffic later on.”
Most of the shopkeepers of Sector 34 complained that their business was affected. The owner of the Sham Fashion Mall, Gagandeep Singh Khurrana said, “Our business ran into losses on Saturday. Though the road in front of our mall is open, not many customers have turned in.”
The manager of the Petrol Pump in the exhibition ground, Mahender Kumar said, “We have made only one fourth of our usual sale on Saturday. Traffic police officials are not allowing anyone to come this way. Even refilling tanks were not allowed to enter this lane on Friday night”.
Police were stationed at all the possible locations. ASP Parvinder Singh said, “We have stationed our constables on roof tops of all the nearby buildings and even houses. Many police officials are also sitting inside the offices in civil uniforms.”