The national capital witnessed huge traffic snarls amid several diversions on Thursday, as the Delhi Police took measures in light of the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. As many as 19 metro stations were closed ahead of protests at Red Fort and Mandi House. Internet services were suspended in some areas of the city from 9 am to 1 pm.
The gates to Rajiv Chowk were opened around 2:30 pm.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) announced that trains would not halt at Lal Quila, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk and Vishwavidyalaya stations. The entry and exit gates of Central Secretariat are closed. However, interchange facility is available at this station, it added. The gates at Delhi Gate, Barakhamba, Rajiv Chowk, Patel Chowk, Lok Kalyan Marg, Udyog Bhawan, ITO, Pragati Maidan, Janpath and Khan Market will also remain closed today. Services at Vasant Vihar and Mandi House stations were also stopped for the day. Interchange facility is available at Mandi House, it said. The entry and exit gates of Jamia Millia Islamia, Jasola Vihar Shaheen Bagh and Munirka are closed. Trains will not be halting at these stations.
By 3:15 pm, all entry and exit gates of Vishwavidyalaya, Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan and Lok Kalyan Marg had been opened. Gates to Chandni Chowk, Barakhamba, Mandi House, Pragati Maidan, Lal Quila, Jama Masjid, Delhi Gate, ITO, Janpath, Khan Market, Vasant Vihar and Munirka have also been opened.
According to the Delhi International Airport Limited, 16 flights have been delayed due to traffic jam at NH-8. IndiGo has cancelled 19 flights due to the crew getting stuck in traffic jams and other issues.
Air India has waived refund and cancellation charges for all domestic and international tickets from Delhi on December 19. “In view of the current heavy traffic congestion along the Gurugram-Delhi highway, resulting in inconvenience to passengers, Reissue/ No-Show/ Cancellation and Refund charges for all Domestic and International tickets for travel from Delhi on 19th DEC’19 shall be waived,” the airlines tweeted.
Authorities also tweeted regular updates on the traffic situation. “Traffic is heavy in the carriageway from Aya Nagar Border to Delhi and Kapashera Border to Delhi due to demonstration. Road No. 13A between Mathura Road and Kalindi Kunj is closed for traffic movement. People coming from Noida are advised to take DND or Akshardham to reach Delhi,” the Delhi Police said in a tweet.
Commuters travelling from Gurgaon towards the Delhi via National Highway 48 (NH48) found themselves caught up in a massive traffic jam at the Sirhaul toll plaza after the Delhi Police set up barricades to check vehicles ahead of the protests.
The barricades, set up from around 8 am, led to an eventual backlog of over 7 kilometres, extending beyond IFFCO Chowk in Gurgaon by 11 am.
The Delhi Traffic Police also cautioned commuters, tweeting, “On the road from Gurgaon to Delhi, local police has put barricades and is checking. Because of which traffic will be obstructed. Kindly use alternative route.”
Gurugram Traffic Police similarly tweeted, “Traffic congestion has been reported at Delhi-Gurugram border on NH48 due to barricading by Dehi Police. @TrafficGGM is on the spot to facilitate the traffic.”
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