CM's BRT remark leaves commuters divided

A day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Bus Rapid Transit corridor should be scrapped in its present form, commuters on Tuesday seemed divided on completely doing away with the facility.

On Monday, Kejriwal had also said he had asked the Transport Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj to look into the matter.Nairita Ganguly, a media professional and a resident of Greater Kailash II, said: “I think scrapping the BRT corridor will be a good move as it has contributed to heavy traffic jams soon after it became functional.” 

The 5.8 km-long corridor, which was backed by former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, connects Ambedkar Nagar with Moolchand Hospital in south Delhi.Debjoy Mitra, an architect, said: “Scrapping the project may not be a bad idea. If the BRT corridor, on which the government has spent nearly Rs 150 crore, is scrapped, we should learn lessons from it and be careful in planning new projects.”

According to motorists, while the lane earmarked for buses remain empty most of the times, the rest of the traffic is thrown out of gear at intersections. “Since the focus is on buses, cars and other private vehicles suffer because of the corridor,” said Lokesh Madan, a resident of Saket. 

For Henna Bajaj, a chartered accountant, driving from Pushp Vihar was a nightmare before the project came into effect and she is among those who want the BRT to remain where it is. 

“It serves as a swift corridor for buses. Even if the project is modified, schemes which promote public transport should not be junked,” she said. Earlier it was planned that the BRT corridor would be extended up to Delhi Gate. However, following public outcry over traffic congestion, the expansion plans were dropped. Former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had promised to scrap plans to expand the corridor if voted back to power in the December 2013 Assembly polls. 

Soon after the Kejriwal government was formed, Transport Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj said he was studying the court files related to the BRT corridor before taking any decision on it.

Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS), which built the BRT corridor, gave a presentation to the Delhi Cabinet on the possible modifications that may be brought about in to make it more public-friendly.

Earlier, a report submitted by the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) mentioned that the speed of the vehicles in this corridor was considerably lower than the other stretches. The CRRI survey also favoured dismantling of the corridor.

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