The traffic chaos on the national capital roads halting visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry’s convoy on Satya Marg for nearly an hour in Lutyens Delhi was caused by a “spillover effect” due to waterlogged carriageways as well as a VVIP route charted for another dignitary in the city on Monday, sources said.
Delhi Traffic Police officials came to the rescue of Kerry who was stuck in the traffic gridlock near Satya Marg that was caused due to incessant rains and the fact that some roads were closed owing to the VVIP route created for the Myanmarese President in the city, official sources said.
“As soon as a message was circulated around 7.40 pm that John Kerry’s motorcade is stuck near Satya Marg, senior traffic officials of the rank of DCPs and Jt Commissioners rushed to the spot to get the road cleared. The traffic in the arm in which he was stuck was allowed to move while other arms were stopped. He took an hour to reach his hotel because the traffic was crawling,” a source said.
The spillover was caused due to rain which caused waterlogging in stretches. Coupled with the VVIP route for the Myanmar President, the spillover spread up to Lutyens Delhi, they said.
The point where John Kerry’s convoy was stuck up was also tricky due to heavy flow of vehicles from several roundabouts in the vicinity of Satya Marg, officials said.
While there was VVIP route for the Myanmar President, with cordoning off of certain roads, Kerry’s motorcade was supposed to be given a ‘clear passage’.
“There were certain roads which were completely closed for traffic and were only being used for convoy of the Myanmarese President. For John Kerry, there were no roads that were cordoned off. His motorcade comprising six vehicles was supposed to be given a clear passage which meant that he was to move along with other cars on the roads.
“The vehicles of Kerry’s convoy were supposed to be given a green signal on the way to his hotel in Chanakyapuri from the IGI Airport. The VVIP movement is mostly given for Presidents and Prime Ministers,” a source said.
The traffic situation was so bad because of too many waterlogged areas and due to certain roads being close for the VVIP route given to Myanmarese president.
Due to the closure of certain routes, the traffic spilled over to other roads. Moreover, there was waterlogging on the carriageways which led to many cars breaking down thereby further leading the traffic to slow down.
The Lutyens Delhi roads are used by commuters whenever there is congestion on other routes so due to heavy traffic on other routes, there was an increase in the number of vehicles entering the New Delhi area, said sources close to the development.
Yesterday, when John Kerry’s motorcade got stuck, mediapersons accompanying him started tweeting about how Kerry was getting a taste of Delhi’s traffic.
Steve Herman, a senior diplomatic correspondent with VOA News tweeted about the traffic “mess” posting pictures of the stuck up vehicles on the roads.
“Motorcade of @JohnKerry gets stuck in flooded gridlocked streets of New Delhi which was hit by heavy rain today. Additional forces called out to try to get @JohnKerry motorcade through Delhi traffic after more than an hour. Now if the @JohnKerry motorcade can only make it to the hotel. It’s been an hour, so far. #India”, he said in a series of tweets.
A senior Delhi Police officer on the condition of anonymity said that no action was taken against anyone so far but a “review” was being undertaken to find out if anyone was guilty or it was just an incident of circumstances beyond their control.