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Downpour stalls Delhi: Visiting envoy John Kerry’s team takes to Twitter, reports on mess

Kerry is in Delhi to attend the dialogue with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: August 31, 2016 12:06:42 pm
john kerry, delhi rain, rain in delhi, rain, kerry, delhi traffic jam, traffic jam, john kerry news, delhi news, us secretary of state US Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in New Delhi.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and his convoy were stuck in a massive traffic snarl Monday evening due to waterlogging caused by heavy rain. Kerry is on a two-day visit to the country for the Second Indo-US Strategic and Commercial (S&C) dialogue.

Kerry, who landed in the capital at 8 pm, was on his way to his hotel in Chanakyapuri when his convoy got stuck in a traffic snarl near Teen Murti Marg. According to sources, his hotel in is roughly 13 km from Terminal 3 of IGI Airport. On a usual day, it takes 20 minutes to cover the distance. On Monday, however, it took Kerry’s convoy over two hours to reach the hotel.

Commuters, meanwhile, faced a harrowing time as traffic and security arrangements for Kerry’s visit added to the chaos caused by the rain. VIP route arrangements took up an entire flank of the roads between Palam and the hotel in the NDMC area.

Bloomberg News foreign policy reporter Nicholas Wadhams, who was a part of the convoy, tweeted a photograph through the windshield which shows the entire convoy stranded on the road along with other vehicles.

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“John Kerry stuck in traffic like everyone else on wet New Delhi night… Kerry’s drive from the airport took two hours. More rain forecast for tomorrow,” he said in a series of tweets.

Senior journalist Steve Herman, with the Voice of America, tweeted, “Additional forces called out to try to get @JohnKerry motorcade through Delhi traffic after more than an hour.”

Traffic police, however, refused to comment on the arrangements they made for Kerry and the areas in which his motorcade encountered snarls. “We will not reveal where the foreign officials will be staying or any details regarding the route their motorcade took for security reasons,” said Special Commissioner (Traffic) Sandeep Goel.

Twitter resorted to humour and welcomed Kerry to the Delhi they brave everyday. Twitter handle @tanvi_madan tweeted, “Delhi traffic + monsoon = the great equalizer”.

Kerry is in Delhi to attend the dialogue with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Ratification of the Paris climate treaty by India and its admission into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) are expected to be on the agenda for the S&C dialogue, along with talks on global terrorism, bilateral trade and increased sustainable modes of economic growth.

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