Amid traffic checks, poor air quality, Delhiites welcome 2019 in style

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New Delhi, Jan 1 (IANS) Winter chill, severe air pollution and too many traffic restrictions — nothing could diminish the spirit of Delhiites, and they celebrated the New Year Day oudoors, as always in the past.

The first day of 2019 saw people thronging popular tourist locations in the national capital, including India Gate, Connaught Place and National Zoological Park, and iconic monument sites like Qutub Minar, Purana Quila and several others.

Owing to heavy traffic in Delhi’s Zoo, entry had to be closed at 4 p.m.

“Traffic is heavy on Mathura Road near National Zoological Park…entry to the Park will be closed at 4 p.m and tourists are advised not to visit the place,” said a Delhi Traffic Police official.

Similar was the situation around Kalkaji Mandir that saw huge rush of devotees on the first day of 2019, leading to heavy, serpentine tailbacks between Chirag Delhi and Kalkaji.

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Traffic movement was also halted from Regal Cinema to Baba Kharak Singh Marg and Sansad Marg towards Outer Circle at Connaught Place due to huge crowds of pedestrians on these roads.

Elaborate traffic arrangements had also been put in place at and around the India Gate for proper regulation of pedestrian movement as well as vehicles. Visitors were advised by the Delhi Police to use public transport owing to acute shortage of parking space near the site.

Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik on Tuesday requested the people of the national capital to “devote some thought to security” of their homes and residential areas and help the police make the city safer.

“As we, in Delhi Police, focus on improving our visibility, response and service delivery, we request the citizenry also to devote some thought to security of their home and colony. With police and public partnership, we can make Delhi a lot safer,” Patnaik tweeted.

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The Delhi Metro on Tuesday blocked exits at five of its stations in central part of the city upon request of the Delhi Police.

The exits for commuters at Pragati Maidan, Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan and Mandi House were blocked.

There also seemed no respite to the Delhi residents from air pollution as the air quality once again dropped to “severe” in the morning, with Air Quality Index at 404. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), AIQ at 5 p.m was 395 — a marginal improvement in the quality of air to “very poor”.

While the minimum temperature recorded on Tuesday was 4 degrees Celcius, three notches below the season’s average, the day’s maximum temperature settled at 23 degrees Celcius, three notches above the season’s average.

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–IANS

som/nir

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