Real test for odd-even; heavy rush in morning

Initial hours of first 'even' Monday prove manic for commuters. Delhi CM carpools with his colleagues to reach Secretariat.

April 18, 2016 12:28 pm | Updated November 17, 2021 04:50 am IST - New Delhi

Traffic jams at major junctions, visuals of commuters hanging on to packed public buses and drama surrounding the willful defiance of odd even restrictions by a BJP MP underlined the initial hours of the implementation of the scheme on the first full-fledged working day of the week here on Monday.

Drivers complained of "normal traffic conditions" at arterial stretches such as Vikas Marg to ITO, the UP Link Road to Akshardham, Akshardham to Bhairon Marg, Azadpur, South Extension and the C-Hexagon near India Gate as the hours progressed.

This in spite of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government having brokered peace with auto rickshaw and taxi unions which had threatened to strike on Monday.

"I spent the same hour that it usually takes for me to reach ITO from Laxmi Nagar on Monday; the volume of traffic is visibly the same and so is the level of congestion and time spent stuck at the single red light signal, said Ashwini Kumar Aggarwal, a businessman.

(Traffic at ITO crossing on the first working day of the second phase of Delhi government's odd-even scheme, in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: Sandeep Saxena)

Even as senior Delhi government functionaries including Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal car-pooled to their office in even-numbered vehicles, BJP MP Vijay Goel was fined Rs. 3,500 for willfully breaking odd even restrictions.

This despite Transport Minister Gopal Rai calling on Mr. Goel at his residence on Ashoka Road, offering him a rose and asking him to reconsider his decision to donwhatbhenintended but to no avail.

The BJP MP drove his odd-numbered sedan to the main carriage way before being pulled over and being fined Rs. 3,500 for offenses such as driving without a license and not renewing the insurance policy of his vehicle in time excluding the fine for violating odd even restrictions.

Commuters complained of heavy congestion across the city even as Mr. Rai reiterated that the scheme was, for the third day running, a success.

While many claimed auto rickshaw drivers were refusing and overcharging at whim, the Delhi Metro which had experienced snags on Friday, was understood to be relatively comfortable.

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