New Delhi, May 31: The Delhi Traffic Police on Tuesday said it received 352 calls related to traffic congestion and 14 calls about building or wall collapse following rains and thunderstorm in the capital a day before.
Three persons were killed and several injured after the fierce thunderstorm packing winds of up to 100 kmph and heavy rains battered the capital on Monday evening, uprooting hundreds of trees, disrupting road and air traffic and damaging vehicles and buildings, including the iconic Jama Masjid.
The Delhi Traffic Police said operations to clear the roads which were peppered with branches of trees was still underway with the help of various agencies.
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena on Tuesday said uprooting of trees in the aftermath of the storm has been taken seriously and will be addressed at the earliest.
The traffic police said it's control room received over 350 calls about congestion, failure of traffic signals, uprooting of trees and electricity poles, snapping of overhead electricity wires and cables.
Uprooted trees, which obstructed traffic, were removed by traffic personnel in different parts of the city with the help of other civic agencies, they said.
There were also power outages in many parts of the city resulting in non-functioning of signals and manning of signalized intersections to regulate traffic, said a senior traffic police official.
According to traffic police, since it was peak traffic hours, the uprooting of trees and electricity poles and non-functional signals caused traffic snarls on various important roads, including Mother Teresa Crescent, Ashoka Road, Shankar Road, Firozshah Road, Jantar Mantar Marg, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, among others.
As soon as the impact of the storm was felt, the control room flashed messages to all its officers and personnel to mobilize maximum number of staff, motorcycle patrol and cranes in the field to ensure manual regulation of traffic at intersections where there was no power supply, the traffic official said.
They also approached other civic agencies like Horticulture departments of NDMC, PWD and MCD for using local resources and manpower and attending to the situation and calls with due alertness, he said.
They were asked to remove uprooted trees and poles from roads, remove broken down vehicles and restore normal flow of traffic, he added.
"Disaster management vehicles of traffic unit, allocated private and government cranes were put into service and available local resources like JCB and heavy cranes were mobilized from local construction sites and roads were cleared.
"Road users were also kept informed through the Facebook page and Twitter about fallen trees, blockades and diversions," said the traffic official.
"The road carriageways were cleared by traffic police with equipment provided on disaster management vehicles like chain saw and wood cutters. Towing cranes and JCB cranes were mobilized from local construction sites. Trees were removed along footpaths and central verges and traffic movement was managed," he added.