Indian commuters struggle through floodwaters at a major intersection in New Delhi on August 31, 2016, after a heavy downpour of monsoon rains. / AFP PHOTO / CHANDAN KHANNA
Indian commuters struggle through floodwaters at a major intersection in New Delhi on August 31, 2016, after a heavy downpour of monsoon rains. / AFP PHOTO / CHANDAN KHANNA

“I don’t know if you came in boats… but I salute you,” John Kerry US Secretary of State

New Delhi : For the second time in three days, visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry got stuck in the Delhi’s traffic jam on Wednesday, while Army Chief Dalbir Singh Suhag was also caught in the massive vehicular congestion, following heavy rains in the national capital.

Kerry was caught in the traffic snarls when he was heading towards IIT in south Delhi for participating in an event, while Suhag got late for an army event due to the jam. The US Secretary of State had a similar experience on Monday evening while travelling to his hotel room at Chanakyapuri from the IGI airport.

He had to also cancel his visit to religious sites on Wednesday as heavy rains lashed the national capital since morning. Kerry was scheduled to visit the Gauri Shankar temple, the Jama Masjid and the Gurdwara Sisganj Sahib in the old Delhi area.

Meanwhile, Army Chief Dalbir Singh was also caught in traffic jam. He was to reach the India Habitat Centre for an army event, but couldn’t make it in time because of the traffic congestion.

Several parts of the Lutyens’ Zone, a VVIP area, witnessed a serpentine queue of vehicles. Earlier, bumper to bumper traffic was witnessed on arterial roads in several parts of the city including Dhuala Kuan, ITO, South Extension, Badarpur-Mehrauli Road, Laxmi Nagar and Janakpuri in the morning hours following heavy rains.

Massive traffic jams also severely affected vehicular movement on road stretches in other areas including IIT Delhi-Munirka, Press Enclave Road, Chirag Delhi to Nehru Place flyover, BRT to Moolchand, Lala Lajpat Rai Marg, Nehru Place to Zamrudpur, Maharani Bagh, Lajpat Nagar, Lado Sarai T-Point, West End Marg near Saket Metro Station and AIIMS Loop.

Long tailbacks were witnessed in and around Gymkhana towards Teen Murti Marg, Bhairon Road towards Mathura Road Roundabout, Gol Dak Khana, Kali Bari Marg, Leela Palace Hotel, Okhla Underpass, Chandni Chowk, Barapullah flyover towards DND, IP Flyover towards Sarai Kale Khan, Panchsheel Marg from Sardar Patel Marg to Shanti Path. “It took me nearly three hours to drive from Dhaula Kuan to Connaught Place,” said Anil Saxena, who is working with a private firm.

Water stagnated mostly in mouths of flyovers, underpasses and low-lying areas, giving commuters a harrowing time. “PWD deployed 296 portable pumps besides the permanent installation of 529 pumps along with 1,078 workmen and 178 fully-equipped maintenance vans with the required material, tools and plants at strategic locations all over Delhi to deal with the situation,” an official said.

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