Games ties up Delhi traffic in snarls, not all complain

Traffic snarls continued to cause hurdles for commuters, including students and office-goers, in Delhi Tuesday with some fast lanes dedicated to the movement of CWG athletes, but then not all Delhiites were complaining.

Updated: Sep 28, 2010, 13:29 PM IST

New Delhi: Traffic snarls continued to cause hurdles for commuters, including students and office-goers, in Delhi Tuesday with some fast lanes dedicated to the movement of Commonwealth Games athletes, but then not all Delhiites were complaining.

Delhi`s move to set apart road lanes for better traffic management during the Oct 3-14 mega-event has been praised by many as for them this represents the start of a new disciplined system.

"It is an innovative idea, a lane kept free for CWG now. Later, we can have a lane for emergency vehicles like ambulances," said Tejendra Khanna, who works in a multi-national company in Gurgaon and commutes daily from Noida.

The traffic jam was a problem for him as he took almost double his usual time to reach his destination. However, Khanna attributed this to the lack of practice in lane driving among Delhiites.

"We are habituated to jumping lanes, they (the dedicated lanes for Games) will be beneficial as they will give a lesson in sensible driving as well," he said.

A total of 105 km of road have dedicated lanes for Games vehicles.

For the bus riders also, the day was equally troublesome with some students even taking the day off because of the commuting problems.

Amrita, who lives in Lodhi Colony, decided to miss her lectures at her college in the Jamia Millia Islamia University as over 1,500 Blueline buses have been taken off the roads in central and south Delhi to decongest routes during the Commonwealth Games.

"I cannot take an auto every day and with the Blueline buses going off routes, I may either have to leave college for two weeks or shift to some friend living close to the university," she said.

Delhi traffic police have suggested several alternative roads for motorists to avoid jams. In newspaper advertisements, traffic police advised people to use Metro, buses and car pools, listing merits of these as being economical, fuel efficient and giving a relaxed commuting with peace of mind.

Heavy traffic jams were seen on key roads connecting Games sites, prominently National Highway-8, Sardar Patel Marg, Panchsheel Marg, Kamal Ataturk Marg, Bhisham Pitamah Marg, Lodhi Road, NH-24, Bhairon Road, Ring Road and August Kranti Marg.

The traffic police suggested to the motorists to take NH-8 for their movement between Delhi and Gurgaon. For the two-lane Sardar Patel Marg, Upper Ridge Road-Link Road, Panchkuian Road, Ring Road and Shanti Path have been suggested as alternative.

Similarly, Panchsheel Marg and Kamal Ataturk Marg -- where half of the total road space has been taken by the dedicated Games lane -- have Kautilya Marg-Teen Murti Marg-Akbar Road and Aurobindo Marg--Tughlaq Road-Akbar Road respectively as alternatives.

According to advisories issued by Delhi Police, Vikas Marg and DND Flyway can be used in place of NH-24, while the commuters can take IP Marg and Bhagwan Das Road to avoid lane restrictions on Bhairon Road and Purana Quila Road.

For the traffic going to airport, the Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road has been suggested. The Rajokari Border-Shiv Murti-Dwarka Road underpass has also been put as an alternative to NH-8 that is frequented by the air travellers.
More hopes are pinned on the introduction of Airport Metro Corridor connecting New Delhi Railway Station to the Indira Gandhi International Airport via Dhaula Kuan will also ferry the air travellers to the airport from the heart of the city in less than 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Metro has seen an increase in footfalls as more people are opting for Metro service to avoid road traffic.

According to a Delhi Metro official, there has been an increase in ridership in Metro trains.
"With traffic snarls and Blueline buses not plying on roads, about 12.62 lakh people travelled by Metro yesterday (Monday). There was an extra footfall of about 65,000 commuters," the official added.