Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fear of jams keeps public off roads, traffic smooth

Delhi had waited for this day for years and as the date drew closer, heartbeats raced.

For the Delhi Traffic Police, however, the day of the opening ceremony for the XIX Commonwealth Games was not as busy as expected. And they had several factors to thank: It was Sunday, so the rush was low; media had been instructing the public about traffic restrictions, hence streamlining the flow of vehicles; security had been beefed up across the Capital and most shops were closed.

The result: Not even a single traffic snarl was reported on Sunday.

The phones at the traffic helpline desk, however, were ringing off the hook, with anxious commuters requesting information on traffic.

Arvind Bali, who came to South Extension from Gurgaon, said: “I reached within an hour, which is quite unusual.”

In keeping with the government’s appeal to use public transport, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and the Delhi Transport Corporation had respectively increased the frequency of trains and opened 31 focal points from where buses to reach venues were made available.

The Metro trains and buses were, however, packed to capacity.

“I usually take the public transport to avoid jams. I wasn’t too sure if the roads would be clear today, so I chose to travel by the Metro” said Akanksha Singh, an MNC employee.

Dedicated bus services will be provided by the DTC for the next fortnight. The five hubs identified by the DTC that will connect with all venues include, Shivaji Stadium Terminal, Anand Vihar ISBT, Dhaula Kuan, Nehru Place and Kashmere Gate ISBT.

The Metro will also run at an average frequency of two minutes, thereby reducing the burden on road traffic.

Special Commissioner of Police(Traffic) Ajay Chaddha said: “As far as possible, it is advisable for people to make use of public transport to prevent inconvenience for themselves”.

To keep the public updated on traffic restrictions, the Delhi Traffic Police will constantly issue ads through print, broadcast and radio and pamphlets.

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