Not full launch, BRTS public trial run likely from Jan end

Not full launch, BRTS public trial run likely from Jan end

The much talked-about Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) project on Hubballi-Dharwad Road, which is facing severe criticism due to inordinate delay and inconvenience being caused during the implementation, is now heading towards another deadline, and this time, officials seem to be more confident of meeting it.

Since the beginning of its implementation in 2012, the BRTS is being termed as one of the major boost for public transport and 'metro on road' between the twin cities. After causing too much inconvenience like damaged roads, dust and other problems for the public during its implementation, the project implementation is now entering the final stage.

BRTS officials had earlier stated that civil works would be completed by November end. This has not become a reality, and they are giving untimely heavy rain in October as the reason for this. The closing date of the World Bank loan being given for the project is March 31, 2018, and the project in its full-fledged manner has to be launched by then. Now, BRTS officials are saying that most of the works would be completed by December end, and the BRTS corridor would be ready for public trial run by January end.

This means, citizens have to be ready to tolerate traffic congestion, dust menace and other problems caused due to the BRTS works for at least two more months. Even after that, it would not be a full-fledged launch of the BRTS, but only public trial run for two more months.

Trial run

To understand the technical aspects of the BRTS bus movement, the Hubballi-Dharwad BRTS Company Limited (BRTS) has already started the trial run of BRTS bus on a small stretch between Rayapur and Lakamanahalli, and this trial would continue for two months.

"By January end, we will start the public trial run, and till then, most of the works including construction of road, bus stations and flyovers will be over," says H-D BRTS Company Limited Deputy General Manager (Infrastructure) Basavaraj Keri.

Like metro train, BRTS is also a sophisticated public transport mode. Passengers need little training to get familiar with at-grade entry, using tokens or cards, and other methods. Therefore, public trial will be run for two months, before the full-fledged launch of the BRTS, he said.

Works on

At present, road development works are in progress inside Hubballi city, from Unkal to Hosur, and they wold be completed by December 15. Road development inside Dharwad city would also begin by then. Utility shifting works are almost over. Terminals are also getting final touches. Unkal flyover would be ready by December 30, and Unkal Cross flyover construction would be completed by January end, Mr Keri explained.

The bottleneck of religious structures is almost resolved through talks, and the road development work at Bhairiverakoppa would also start shortly, he noted.

The number of city buses being run by the NWKRTC would be less during the BRTS public trial run, while other details for the full-fledged launch would be discussed with the NWKRTC. The World Bank team which reviewed the project last month has also given instructions to launch the entire project in its full-fledged manner by March end, he added.

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