Govt gets time to reply to BRT report

Court decision will affect all BRT projects across India

The Delhi High Court has given time till July 23 to the city government to “analyse” the Central Road Research Institute’s report on the bus rapid transit corridor.

The CRRI had criticised the BRT system in its report. Appearing for the transport department, senior counsel K T S Tulsi told a bench of acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw that CRRI submitted its report on Tuesday and the government wants to analyse it.

“The government will then file an affidavit on the basis of the report,” said Tulsi, seeking time till July 23.

The bench earlier wanted to defer the matter for hearing in August but Tulsi wanted it in July itself, saying “the court’s order will have an impact on all BRT projects in the country.”

Referring to CRRI’s suggestion that traffic moves 68 per cent faster with the BRT system suspended, the counsel said “the entire BRT projects across the country will go haywire” if this issue is not resolved at the earliest.

The CRRI in its report to the transport department had stated: “The result of the experimental trial run conducted on the corridor (Ambedkar Nagar and Moolchand) reiterated the fact that allowing other vehicles to ply on the earmarked lane for buses yielded better benefits for road users compared to the BRT situation.”

“The trial run scenario in 2015 will reduce total travel time and stop delay (time spent at red lights) by 39 per cent and 58 per cent respectively,” the report had stated.

The CRRI had conducted a trial run on the HC’s order and prepared the report based on existing traffic volume. The court had earlier directed the city government to continue with the arrangement made by CRRI during the experimental trial run on the BRT corridor between May 12 and May 23 this year till the court takes a decision.

The court’s direction came on a plea by Nyay Bhoomi, an NGO, for restoring traffic on the BRT corridor, which was discontinued by the government after the CRRI’s trial run.

On Tuesday, leader of opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijay Kumar Malhotra had said that traffic between Ambedkar Nagar and Moolchand flyover has slowed down and fuel worth over Rs 2.48 crore was being wasted annually. “The CRRI also pointed out the inordinate delay of over 48 per cent to 61 per cent in construction of the BRT corridor,” he had said. 

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