Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Games Lane Trial a Success

Delhi Traffic Police carried out trial runs on 3-km stretch of the dedicated Games lane on Lodhi Road on Sunday. Though a couple of minor glitches did surface during the exercise that was conducted between 11am and 2pm, police believe they will be able to ‘‘discipline’’ every driver over the 40 days of trial runs which start this week.

‘‘We are satisfied with the first day’s progress. People followed our instructions and there was a wholehearted enforcement of the lane rule,’’ said Ajay Chadha, special commissioner (traffic).

When Times City took a round of the area, it found traffic constables posted every 100 metres. Signboards were put up and each car was directed to keep to the left lane, as the right lane on both carriageways of the road has been dedicated for the Games corridor. On the first day, however, police showed leniency towards drivers on a few occasions when cars tried to take the right lane.

‘‘It was the first day. It was a holiday and traffic was not heavy. We must keep in mind that the markings are not yet clear the white logo is still to come up. We will not send out challans right now. But come September 20, no violator will be spared,’’ added Chadha.

Joint commissioner (traffic) Satyendra Garg said the next day of trials will be announced in the coming three days. ‘‘We will inform the date, time and place for the next trials. We will also put up the full schedule on our website and social networking sites,’’ said Garg.

Next time, however, officials said traffic cops will not be deployed every 100 meters. ‘‘We plan to keep them at a 200-metre gap now,’’ said Chadha.

For the three hours the trial run was on, the extreme right lane on the stretch was out of bounds for all normal traffic. The road markings for the Games lanes — a yellow line marks out the lane which has blue boxes at regular intervals with the Games logo — have been completed on Lodhi Road, which was taken up first.

Cops said those who try to enter the wrong lane will be prosecuted. Even as the fine will be Rs 2,000 during the Commonwealth Games, at present violators will have to pay up just Rs 100 as the government is still to notify the hike in fines.

Over the next few weeks, the trial runs will be extended to other city roads which have been earmarked for movement of Games traffic. The stretches, spanning about 180km, include all roads leading to Commonwealth Games venues, the Games village and IGI Airport. The full restrictions will come into effect from September 20 when athletes start arriving in the city.