Signals stay faulty, trees lie on roads 3 days after Delhi storm

Last Updated: Monday, August 24, 2009 - 15:33

New Delhi: The capital Monday continued to reel under the effects of Friday`s two-hour downpour -- trees and branches blown down during the storm were still lying on the roads and traffic lights were non-functional, leading to traffic snarls and accidents.

While the civic agency claimed to have cleared out the mess from the storm, the scene Monday morning showed a different story. Fallen trees and branches clearly blocked carriageways on busy roads.

Delhi Mayor Kanwar Sain decried this, saying that "the clear-up operations should have been done on an emergency basis, irrespective that it was the weekend".

"Our horticulture department undertook a survey of all roads in our jurisdiction. Wherever there was a problem the trees should have been cleared. Still there may be areas like on Public Works Department (PWD) roads or New Delhi Municipal Corporation roads where residents are facing problems," Sain said.

But on one of the main roads under the jurisdiction of the MCD, many branches lay on South Delhi`s Outer Ring Road in front of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campus, leading to accidents and four-kilometre-long traffic queues.

A motorcylist who was squeezed between a fallen branch and an auto rickshaw on the other lane took a hard fall on the stretch as he was going towards Panchsheel Park.

The auto rickshaw driver, who stopped and dragged the branch off the road as passersby helped up the fallen rider, said: "I have been seeing fallen branches all the way from Janakpuri. Nobody has cleaned anything."

Megha Suri, a doctor who had stopped to see if the motorcyclist needed medical attention, wondered: "Why do we pay road tax if we have to run an obstacle course between fallen trees and potholes all the time?"

Kailash Chand, another driver, switched off his engine in despair when the traffic didn`t budge for 10 minutes. "I have seen two accidents on the way. As if the trees and red lights aren`t bad enough abominable driving by some people is the last straw."

Many of the capital`s over 700 traffic lights had been short-circuited Friday and most of them remained on the blink Monday morning, traffic police chief SN Srivastava admitted.

"Traffic was affected. As far as the red lights are concerned, we had asked for their repair to be completed by Monday morning," Srivastava said.

He explained: "While some have been repaired, many could not be. This is because there were a large number of defective lights and the repair agency could deal with only a limited number over the weekend."

The traffic control room also received complaints of snarls from the busy Vikas Marg area in East Delhi, DND flyway to Ashram Chowk, as well as Dilshad Garden in East Delhi and the Apsara Border that connects to Ghaziabad in the east, where a sewage pipeline had burst.


First Published: Monday, August 24, 2009 - 15:33

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