Meerut: All the major roads and intersections in the city witnessed utter chaos on Saturday as the number of kanwar devotees swelled considerably.
With route diversions in place, most of the roads were full of vehicles jostling for space and moving at a snail’s pace.
On their way to Haridwar to fetch holy water from the Ganga River, over 25 lakh faithful are expected to cross the city, posing big challenge before traffic policemen and commuters alike.
All the main intersections on city’s Hapur Road, Garh Road, Begum Bridge Road and Mall Road witnessed traffic chaos, which may exacerbate on Monday. The traffic police also expressed helplessness.
Most of the traffic cops have been deployed to manage the Kanwar rush on main arterial roads — Hapur Road and Delhi Road.
Superintendent of police (traffic) Sanjeev Bajpai said: “After diversion, pressure generally increases on the alternate routes. Since most of the traffic cops have been deployed on the main intersections of the two highways, the alternate routes are left to be managed by respective police stations of the regions.”
From Saturday midnight, vehicles will be completely banned on NH-58 and only Hapur Road’s one side will be opened for it.
On Saturday, commuters had a tough time negotiating through the jams all over the city. Manish Chadha, a pharmacist, had a difficult time reaching his shop on Eves Chowk on Hapur Road. “Every year, normal traffic is thrown out of gear due to this kanwar yatra. Moving within the city takes hours,” he said.
However, divisional commissioner Prabhat Kumar offered some hope for the next year.“From next year, we will have well-developed two-lane roads on both the sides of Upper Ganga canal till Haridwar.