Upcoming in Delhi: Traffic restrictions, cancellation of 100 flights daily
Delhiites should prepare for difficulty in moving around as the national capital gears up for two important events: an Asean summit (January 25) and Republic Day celebrations (January 26). Traffic restrictions will be on in and around India Gate from January 23 itself. Starting January 19, airspace will also be closed for 60-90 minutes daily for air flypast rehearsals, affecting 100 flights a day.
This time, heads of 10 countries will attend the summit and R-Day celebrations at Rajpath. Their movement would imply traffic restrictions. Traffic Police Chief Dependra Pathak says no road will be completely closed, but many will be temporary suspended to let the VIPs pass. On New Year, 2,50,000 people gathered at India Gate, causing massive jams in east and south Delhi.
Traffic police have urged people to avoid on January 25-26 Shanti Path, South Avenue, Teen Murti, Akbar Road, Mother Teresa Crescent, Vijay Chowk, Sardar Patel Marg, Kautilya Marg, Panchsheel Marg and Safdarjung Road. Look out for traffic updates and alternate route suggestions on Google "We will also put out advisories in newspapers, news channels, radio stations, social media and SMSes," Pathak said.
This year, airspace over Delhi will be closed from 10.35am to 12.15pm during January 18-26. Generally, flights are rescheduled, but this year's congestion at the Delhi airport means all domestic flights in that period will be cancelled; international flights will be rescheduled. That's at least 100 flights cancelled and 15,000 passengers affected daily. Airport officials have asked airlines to accommodate passengers on other flights.
Simultaneously, a beautification drive has been launched ahead of the summit in Old Delhi, around Red Fort, Jama Masjid and Chandni Chowk. Two areas of priority are shifting overhead cables underground and installing standardized signboards on all shops in the area. Old Delhi is a top sightseeing destination, and the leaders are expected to visit. The ASEAN summit will be held during January 19-30.