India

Indian media: Traffic chaos after rains

Image caption Commuters faced severe traffic jams in Delhi due to flooded roads on Tuesday

Media in India are criticising Delhi's poor infrastructure after a heavy spell of rain caused massive traffic jams on Tuesday.

The day became a "nightmare" for commuters in the capital as the "second wettest day" of the monsoon season flooded many roads leading to complete chaos on the roads, reports said.

A front-page headline in The Times of India summed it up nicely: "95mm rain in Delhi, 100% chaos on roads."

"While the rain bounty has exceeded expectations, Tuesday's road chaos was all too predictable. The city's decrepit drainage system ensured that roads got flooded, leaving commuters stuck for hours," the paper says.

The Hindustan Times reported "slow and serpentine traffic snarls" from all major traffic intersections in the capital.

"Vehicles moved at a snail's pace in several areas in north and south Delhi as water overflowed from clogged drains, flooding roads," the India Today website reports.

Staying with the capital, the city's green cover is decreasing rapidly due to extensive mining and construction work which may cause "desertification", reports the Hindustan Times.

The green cover is crucial as it helps to absorb vehicular pollution, store ground water and protect the city from the searing winds blowing from the neighbouring state of Rajasthan, the paper adds.

Meanwhile, media feel the attempt of India's central bank - the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) - to arrest the continuing slide of the rupee against the dollar does not seem to be yielding any results.

The rupee plunged to 64.13 against the dollar and crossed the 100-rupee mark against the pound on Tuesday.

"In the last one month, the RBI has issued a host of measures (liquidity tightening), which squeezed fund flows in the market by making it costlier. However, those proved to be short-term solutions and failed to bring back stability in the markets," financial website moneycontrol.com says.

'Parliament logjam'

Newspapers are also concerned over the continuing chaos in the parliament with both houses being disrupted repeatedly on Tuesday over the issue of missing files in an alleged scam in the allocation of coal mining licences, reports The Hindu.

"With the economy's growth at a decade-low, the government and parliament can ill afford to turn their attention to factors other than those that ought to raise the trend line," the Hindustan Times says in an editorial.

Staying with the parliamentary news, the leader of the opposition, Sushma Swaraj, unintentionally created a stir when she sat on the prime minister's seat in the lower house on Tuesday, reports the Zee News website.

Ms Swaraj sat on the PM's seat for "nearly five minutes" when she was enquiring about the health of Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who is back at work after a surgery.

Moving on to foreign affairs, newspapers feel an Indian military aircraft's landing at the world's highest airstrip near the border with China is "a move to counter" Beijing.

"Flexing its muscles in eastern Ladakh (near the disputed Himalayan border between the two countries), where Indian and Chinese armies have been engaged in regular face-offs, the Indian Air Force landed a C-130J Super Hercules tactical airlift aircraft at the rudimentary airstrip in Daulat Beg Oldi on Tuesday morning," reports The Times of India.

In sports news, former India captain Rahul Dravid has appealed for the promotion of Test cricket, saying this format helps players get the foundation they need to be successful in shorter versions of the game, reports the espncricinfo.com website.

"Test cricket an older, larger entity is the trunk of a tree and the shorter game - be it Twenty20 or ODIs - is its branches, its offshoots," the website quoted him as saying.

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