Hyderabad

Traffic thrown out of gear

Crowds entered the NTR Stadium after the Dharna Chowk near Indira Park got jam-packed with protesters on Saturday.

Crowds entered the NTR Stadium after the Dharna Chowk near Indira Park got jam-packed with protesters on Saturday.  

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Movement of vehicles to airport and railway stations was worst affected

Weekend plans of Hyderabadis for an outing went for a toss as a protest rally against the Citizenship Amendment Act and proposed National Register of Citizens threw traffic out of gear on Saturday.

Instead of relaxing, those who were on the roads were left fuming as they got stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic for a long time, especially in the central parts of the city.

People started to gather at Dharna Chowk from early afternoon and by 2 p.m. Lakdi-ka-pul, Tank Bund, Gandhi Nagar and other roads leading to the protest site were chock-a-block with traffic.

In fact, assessing the situation, people, starting from Lumbini Park, parked their bikes by the roadside and chose to walk.

It was not just vehicles, a large number of people holding the tricolour walked in groups alongside roads which added to the congestion. In desperation, motorists squeezed their vehicles into every inch of the road. And equally desperate pedestrians made their way by jumping over mudguards of bikes.

The same situation was witnessed in the bylanes around Dharna Chowk.

Movement of vehicles to RGIA, Shamshabad, MGBS, JBS and all the three major railway stations — Secunderabad, Kacheguda and Nampally — was the worst affected. Initially, the jam extended from Tank Bund to Mehdipatnam, Koti, Narayanguda and other central and southern parts of the city. In the afternoon, the congestion spread to even western (Madhapur, Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills) and northern (Begumpet, Bowenpally and Marredpally) parts of the capital.

Around 5 p.m., a middle-aged man, who came to a hospital near Indira Park, was seen asking DCP (Task Force) P Radhakishan Rao when the traffic would be cleared as his car was stuck because of the protest.

Hundreds of commuters took to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to share their experiences and many alerted their friends and family in WhatsApp chat groups to the traffic situation.

However, the Hyderabad Traffic Police did not issue any advisory and restrictions; instead, they kept updating Twitter.

The traffic jam became worse in the evening when people who participated in protest were on their way back. For at least 4 km around Dharna Chowk, the flow of traffic was affected. Amid constant honking and thick layer of smoke emanating from vehicles, people became eager to cut through the serpentine traffic and reach their destination.

Organiser to be booked

Meanwhile, an official said the Gandhi Nagar police would register a case against the organiser of the protest, Mustaq Mallik, for violating police permission conditions. “We gave permission for only 1,000 people, whereas he mobilised more than 10,000 protesters and violated our conditions. This led to the traffic jam,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 9:52:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/protest-throws-traffic-out-of-gear-in-hyderabad/article30481158.ece

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