New Year traffic, revellers choke heart of capital
- Malaysia Airlines plane may have turned back before vanishing, says Air force chief
- BJP complains to EC against Rahul over RSS remarks, seeks derecognition of Congress
- Varanasi seat row: RSS worried but believes BJP will solve it
- Subrata Roy arrest row: The not-so-beautiful story
- Vajpayee wanted Modi to quit over Gujarat riots, but party said no: Venkaiah Naidu
Traffic moved at a snail's pace in the heart of the city on Wednesday evening as thousands of people thronged India Gate, Rajpath and Connaught Place to celebrate New Year. According to police, more than 15,000 people gathered at Raj Ghat and over 5,000 at India Gate.
Traffic movement around religious institutions, including gurdwaras and temples, was also heavy as many went to offer prayers. "Traffic around Rakabganj gurdwara, Bangla Sahib and Hanuman Mandir was very heavy. Since there is a lack of parking space in the area, it added to the chaos," a senior police officer said.
"Traffic was very heavy around the C Hexagon as more than 20,000 people were present in the area. Pedestrians crossing the roads also slowed down traffic. More than 100 traffic officers were on duty in the entire New Delhi area," he said.
The worst hit stretches were Ashoka Road, Shahjahan Road, Mathura Road, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, ITO, C Hexagon, Subramanian Bharti Marg, Barakhamba Road, among others. Traffic chaos on these stretches also had a spiralling effect on Daryaganj, Mayur Vihar and route towards Ghaziabad, police said.
On New Year's Eve, traffic police deployed 70 teams, armed with breathalyzers to check drunken driving. Special pickets were also set up to check stunts on motorcycles and reckless driving. "A total of 724 motorists were prosecuted for committing various violations," Additional Commissioner of police (traffic) Anil Shukla said.