STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, 20 January
Complete traffic chaos, neck to neck vehicles, bumper to bumper traffic jam and no space left to walk down was the scene near Rail Bhawan today due to the protest held by Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government today.
Thousands of office goers and students had a tough time travelling today as four metro stations near the North block remained closed today from 9 am to 1 pm ahead of a protest.
"As advised by Delhi Police, Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan and Race Course Metro stations had to be closed from 9 am to 1 pm in the wake of dharna by AAP at North block," a DMRC spokesperson said.
Later two metro stations – Patel Chowk and Race Course – were opened for passenger service. "At 2:15 pm, Patel Chowk and Race Course were opened, while Central Secretariat and Udhyog Bhawan are still closed," DMRC spokesperson said.
The passengers were seen fuming over the same and said that at least the authorities should have informed in advance as last minute rush created much problem in commuting. "Who will be responsible if we get late for office? Also I was not well and had to walk down a lot to reach the nearest metro station. Due to traffic chaos, autos were also not available and the people had to suffer," said Ms Sugandha Paliwal, a commuter.
The interchange at Central Secretariat continued and controlled exit of government employees from Central Secretariat was allowed after checking their IDs, the spokesperson said.
The problem was compounded with prohibitory orders imposed in and around the high-security area with heavy police and barricades in places to restrict movement. Many commuters reached office late as they had to get down at Rajiv Chowk Metro Station and walk all the way to their offices.
"I was caught off guard in the morning as I was not aware about the closure of the Central Secretariat station. I reached office an hour late after walking down from Rajiv Chowk Metro Station to my office. Dharnas and protest during morning rush hours should not be allowed," said Ms Ragini Saran, an MNC employee.
Meanwhile, Central Secretariat and Udhyog Bhavan metro stations will remain closed tomorrow also from 6 am to 10 am till further police directive in the wake of sit-in the protest by Delhi Chief Minister Mr Arvind Kejriwal and other ministers.
"Central Secretariat and Udhyog Bhavan metro stations will remain closed on Tuesday from 6 am to 10 am as per Delhi Police directives," a DMRC spokesperson said.
During the closure, movement of the interchange passengers was being allowed at the Central Secretariat metro station and regulated exit of employees with offices in the vicinity after the verification of the identity cards at Central Secretariat only in the morning.