H-D BRTS trial run likely by Sept end

NWKRTC and HDBRTSCL MD Rajendra Cholan inspects BRTS bus station in Hubballi on Tuesday.

Working on a fast-track to meet the fresh deadline of November 1 to launch the much-hyped and much-delayed Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) on Hubballi-Dharwad Road, officials concerned are making efforts to start the trial run of BRT buses on the dedicated corridor by September end, and to begin public trial run, before the launch.

On Tuesday, North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) managing director Rajendra Cholan, who is also in-charge managing director of Hubballi-Dharwad BRTS Company Limited (HDBRTSCL), inspected the progress of the BRTS project implementation in the City, by walk, and gave instructions to contractors and officials to speed up the works, so that trial run can start by September end.

"Our priority now is to start the operations. Construction works are almost over or in the final stage, and coordination with different agencies is being achieved, to complete remaining works. The progress of this Rs 900 crore project is being reviewed on daily basis, and different teams are formed to review different aspects of the project," he said.

By September end, BRTS trial run would be conducted for a couple of days, to understand and resolve practical issues. Later, public trial run would be conducted, before the launch on November 1. Bus fare for a public trial run and after the full launch is not yet decided, Cholan informed.

This time, we would not miss the deadline for the launch, and inter-change bus stand at Hosur would be operational by then, he expressed confidence.

On religious structures

Since the issue of acquiring land of a few religious structures is not yet resolved, Cholan stated that median width would be lessened temporarily near religious structures, so that mixed traffic lane is also not affected, for the launch. The issue would be resolved later, which requires the co-operation of all, he noted.

100 Volvo buses have already come, and 30 articulated buses are under manufacturing. Another layer of asphalt would be laid on mixed traffic lane, so that road level should be equal with the drainage line layer. At around 100 crosses, approach roads would be connected smoothly with the BRTS road. BRT buses would enter railway station premises also, and the South Western Railway (SWR) officials have been asked to develop a facility like foot-over-bridge to link BRTs pick-up and drop point with the railway station, Cholan said.

A notification has to be issued to make BRT corridor a dedicated lane, where only BRT buses can move. A decision is yet to be taken to appoint traffic volunteers, to manage traffic and pedestrians at junctions, along with traffic signals. The government would also take a call on continuing the Bendre bus service or not, he noted.

Operations

Cholan said the plan is to have operations of BRTS and NWKRTC's city bus services under one umbrella. A decision about creating a separate corporation or a separate division putting them together would be taken by the government, he clarified, adding that the focus now is on completing the construction, and operations part and completion of remaining works would be given stress later.

HDBRTSCL deputy general manager (infrastructure) Basavaraj Keri, NWKRTC Hubballi divisional controller Vivekanand Vishwajna, and other officials were present.

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H-D BRTS trial run likely by Sept end

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