'Use private vehicles only if necessary'

Delhi's Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami says people should use private vehicles only if it is absolutely necessary.

In an interview with Sandeep Yadav, he also defends the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) experiment.

Why does Delhi have such a dismal public transport system compared to European capitals?

It is wrong to say that our public transport system is in a dismal state. Yes, I agree that there is a scope for improvement and we are surely working towards it. However, one should not forget that Delhi Metro matches the best anywhere in the world.
The Delhi Transport Corporation has the swankiest buses in the country.

We are bringing in another 50,000 autorickshaws, and have introduced e-rickshaws and green mini buses, etc. Not to forget that the  government is also bringing in the monorail. The cabinet has already passed the proposal in this regard.

But mere 6,000 buses plying currently on Delhi roads are not enough. We need more.
The process is on. We will have around 11,000 buses gradually. However, not having enough buses is not the only problem. For me, route rationalisation is the biggest priority. On some routes, only 10 buses are plying and on some only two buses. We have to intelligently estimate the number of buses which should ply. Secondly, the roads are clogged and buses which leave the depot on their scheduled times get trapped in jams on their way while people waiting at bus stops complain about them not coming on time.

It's a vicious circle. Clogged roads delay buses and people prefer private vehicles. What is the way out?

Awareness. People should realise that using private vehicles is neither economical nor good for the environment or the limited roads that we have in the city. I
believe educated people live in Delhi
and they should understand this simple thing. One should discourage others from using private vehicles unless it is absolutely important, for the greater good of society.

The BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) experiment has drawn flak from all quarters.

No, only a small section has a problem with some portions of it. See, they complain that car lanes on BRT are chock-a-block while buses ply fast. That is exactly the purpose of BRT. To discourage people from using private vehicles so that they take up public transport for smoother and faster ride to work or home. Isn’t it?

When do we get to see the use of ‘More Delhi’ card for cashless travel not only in Metro but also in DTC buses and taxis across the city.

This project is being handled by the Union government. It aims at providing a single card which could facilitate travelling not only in Delhi but in the entire country. It may take time to introduce the card in the entire country but it will be introduced in phases. I think in the next six months, Delhi will be able to have this facility.

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