The full dress rehearsal for Republic Day parade on Tuesday made Delhiites face traffic snarls on in Central Delhi and consequently other parts of the city.
A senior traffic police officer told The Statesman that; “the full dress rehearsal for the Republic Day parade started from Vijay Chowk towards Red Fort at 9.50 a.m. Traffic came to a near standstill because of barricades and pickets put up along parallel roads.”
“Among the prominent stretches badly affected by the traffic jam from 9:30 onwards were roads from ITO and Akshardham to Nizamuddin, Ashram to Delhi-Noida-Delhi flyover, National Highway-24 and Pusa Road,” an official at Delhi Traffic Police’s control room said.
“Even areas such as Mayur Vihar Phase I and III, Karol Bagh, Rajendra Nagar (Pusa Road), Ranhola and Najafgarh felt the impact of traffic restrictions enforced by police, making most commuter reach their destinations least half hour later than on normal days,” the official added.
The stretch between Punjabi Bagh to Rajouri Garden also witnessed a jam from 8:30 a.m. after a truck broke down near the ESI Hospital in Raja Garden, the traffic police said on Twitter. An official said that the borders will remain closed for commercial vehicles from 10 p.m. onwards on 25 January while on 26 January the route from Vijay Chowk to Raj Ghat will be closed dur to Republic Day parade.
Road restrictions will remain in force from Tuesday to Friday in large parts of central Delhi ahead of Republic Day and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit.
More traffic curbs are likely on Wednesday and Thursday when leaders of 10 ASEAN countries will move from airport to their hotels in central Delhi and later to the summit venues – the Taj Diplomatic Enclave Hotel on Sardar Patel Marg and the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in Chanakyapuri.
However, there shall be no restrictions from 7pm till midnight on Wednesday.
Traffic police clarified that though no route would be completely closed to public on Wednesday and Thursday, commuters could be stopped for some time to let the dignitaries pass.
In a first, the 68th Republic Day celebrations will be attended by the 10 chief guests ~ the heads of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. India will host leaders from Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei.