ANDHRA PRADESH

TDP protest sends traffic haywire

Perennial agony: The huge traffic jam on the Somajiguda road caused by the TDP protest on Wednesday stranded commuters in a gridlock for hours together.

Perennial agony: The huge traffic jam on the Somajiguda road caused by the TDP protest on Wednesday stranded commuters in a gridlock for hours together.  

Staff Reporter

Thousands of people stranded at Somajiguda for hours together

HYDERABAD: A demonstration ‘in protest against injustice to Telangana’ by the TDP left commuters caught in a traffic jam screaming for justice here on Wednesday.

The attempt by the Telugu Desam Party activists to lay siege to the Jalasoudha building on the bustling Somajiguda main road protesting against diversion of Godavari river waters, stranded thousands of people for hours together. Patients being taken to hospitals, people going to offices and school students returning home had a harrowing experience, as traffic was held up from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

As the TDP leaders went on delivering emotional speeches about the ‘injustice to people’, vehicle movement came to a grinding halt on all connected routes. Chaos reigned supreme as none knew how long the demonstration would last.

Additional woes

Traffic police officials who were aware of the TDP’s protest programme in advance failed to come out with alternative arrangements only adding to the woes of the people and confusion. Initially, they tried to divert traffic towards Monappa Island and NFCL rotary.

The diversion boomeranged as these points were already congested due to the ongoing construction of flyovers and vehicle movement came to a standstill causing inconvenience to people attending emergency works. The road space before Joy Alukkas’ jewellery shop and opposite it was wide enough to allow a single four-wheeler. With hundreds of cars piled up on either side of Punjagutta junction, it took hours for the traffic to be cleared.

Charge against police

“How did the police allow a political party to block a busy road in Somajiguda when people set out for their work places,” questioned an office-goer N. Sridhar of Musheerabad. There were several agonised vehicle divers like him accusing the police of failing to tackle the situation.

All that the police could do was register a petty case against the demonstrators under the City Police Act. “We rejected the TDP’s application seeking p ermission to organise the demonstration. Still, they went ahead with the programme,” the Punjaguatta police said.

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