Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Come September 23, Brace for Jams as Athletes start to Arrive

As athletes start pouring in for the Commonwealth Games from September 23, the traffic police plan to start blocking off Games lanes to provide them a free passage from the airport to the Commonwealth Games village. The road blocks, however, will not last for the entire day or night. The plan is to cordon off one lane of the main road in a need-based manner, depending on timings of arrival of the athletes.

The main route to be affected on September 23 and 24 will be from the airport to Commonwealth Games village via Sardar Patel Marg, Chanakyapuri, Lodhi Road, portion of Ring Road near Sarai Kale Khan, Nizamuddin Bridge and National Highway-24. ‘‘The roads will only be blocked when there is movement of athletes. At all other times, they will be available for traffic. We will be giving out day-to-day advisories informing people of the roads which will be affected and the timings of the movements,’’ said Satyendra Garg, Joint Commissioner of Police (traffic).

Not many road blocks are expected in the first two days on the rest of the stretches. The Organizing Committee has drawn up a training schedule too for athletes but this movement will begin full swing after a sizeable number of athletes have arrived.

The dedicated Games lanes have been marked mostly on the extreme right of arterial roads across the city. The lanes are painted using a solid yellow line with blue boxes with the Commonwealth Games logo and arrows at regular intervals. Those entering the lanes while the blocks are on will have to pay a fine of Rs 2,000 via a special notification being invoked by the cops.

To calm traffic volumes, the traffic had written to Delhi government to close schools, colleges, courts, factories, etc. In addition, all Games tickets will come with a free to and for Metro ride to the venue which spectators to events can avail of. Delhi-ites are also being urged to use public transport as far as possible. But despite all measures, the cordoning off of the one lane is expected to lead to jams, especially on two lanes roads falling on the route like Sardar Patel Marg, Kamal Attaturk Marg, Mall road, etc.