A day after the first phase of the odd-even operations for private vehicles came to an end, parts of Delhi saw heavy traffic, as cars, some with odd-numbered and others with even-numbered plates, lined up one behind the other in gridlocks.
While a number of complaints about traffic snarls were received from South Delhi, the flow of traffic remained relatively smooth in central Delhi.
“Since 9 am, major traffic snarls were reported in various parts of Delhi. Outer Ring Road, inner Ring Road, Dhaula Kuan in South Delhi and Shahdara and Anand Vihar ISBT saw very heavy traffic,” said Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Muktesh Chander. Till late Saturday, traffic in these areas remained sluggish, said Chander.
According to the police, a traffic snarl at the Delhi Cantonment at about 9 am on Saturday led to tailbacks up to Dhaula Kuan by 11 am.
Mohan Yadav (32), who drove from Gurgaon to Greater Kailash-I on Saturday morning, said he encountered heavy traffic between Dhaula Kuan and Naraina.
“It took me an hour-and-a-half to reach GK-1 from Dhaula Kuan. There was bumper to bumper traffic. If the odd-even plan had continued, I would have reached within 25 minutes,” said Yadav.
Traffic headed to South Delhi was sluggish on the intersection of Ashram and Sarai Kale Khan, with vehicles crawling upto Maharani Bagh. While the flow of traffic eased after hitting Ring Road, many felt that the number of vehicles on the road was significantly more when compared to the last 15 days.
Mahesh Kumar, who manages a parking lot in Green Park, said, “Over the last 15 days, fewer cars were parked here. More cars are parked here today, but not as many as we used to have before the odd-even plan was introduced. That may be because many people have an off today”.
Meanwhile, traffic flow between Panchsheel and IIT flyover and between Raja Garden and Punjabi Bagh remained obstructed, after Delhi Transport Corporation buses broke down on these stretches.
Officials said that traffic snarls were reported at East Delhi’s Khichdipur, Outer Delhi’s Burari bypass and the flyover at Northeast Delhi’s Shahdara. The queue of cars stuck in traffic went all the way up to Preet Vihar and Vikas Marg, they said.
However, not everyone had to encounter a traffic logjam.
“I was at AIIMS and then at ITO in the morning. After that I drove to Anand Vihar, Shahdara and Khajuri in East Delhi. I did not encounter traffic on any of these roads even in the morning. But I don’t think that will be the case on Monday,” said autorickshaw driver Mohan Singh.
He added, “The chief minister may have requested people to follow the odd-even scheme voluntarily from now on, but I don’t think anybody will do that unless violators are forced to pay fines.”
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