Delhi traffic restrictions ease as Games close


New Delhi : Delhi residents heaved a sigh of relief as traffic restrictions placed for the Commonwealth Games were eased in most parts of the city, a day after the mega sporting event came to a colourful close.

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“We have lifted restrictions from all the routes except from the Games Village to the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport. Restrictions on this route will be ineffectual from Oct 16,” Special Commissioner (Traffic) Ajay Chadha told IANS.

He added that goods vehicles, which were barred, will be allowed on the city’s roads from Saturday.

Traffic on the city’s roads moved smoothly as the restrictions on the dedicated lanes were removed.

“Delhi’s commuters have shown remarkable restraint and discipline during the enforcement of the Games lanes. Except a few aberrations, most motorists have done their bit in making this exercise a joint success by following the guidelines,” Chadha said.

Prosecution for violation of the Games lanes came in effect Sep 26. Delhi commuters were anxiously waiting for the green signal to drive on the city’s roads without restrictions.

As many as 2,291 challans (traffic violation tickets) and 315 notices were issued, and 30 vehicles were impounded for lane violation during the Games.

A lot of commuters, who were forced to use public transport due to heavy traffic jams on roads having dedicated Games lanes, said they will now make a comeback on the roads on their own vehicles.

“To avoid traffic jams, we shifted to public transport. But the service of public transport buses was infrequent and the Metro remained unusually crowded throughout the period,” said Shailendra Sharma, a resident of Vinod Nagar.

“The initial days of traffic restrictions were quite tough. I’d reach my office up to two hours late. Then I switched to public transport. Now that the restrictions have eased, it’s time to dust off our vehicles,” said Ankit Varshney, a consultant.

Delhi Traffic Police has repeatedly commended Delhiites’ cooperation in implementing the restrictions that were enforced to facilitate vehicular movements of the Games athletes and officials and termed the whole exercise a success.

The 19th Commonwealth Games, which began here Oct 3, ended with a gala closing ceremony Thursday.