HD-BRTS bags 'Best Urban Mass Transit project' award

Last Updated : 12 November 2019, 11:49 IST

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Dedicated bus corridor project between Hubballi-Dharwad has bagged Union government’s ‘Best Urban Mass Transit project’ award for the year 2019. The Hubballi-Dharwad Bus Rapid Transit System (HD-BRTS) has put behind Bengaluru Metro, Chennai Metro, Ahmedabad BRTS and others to win this award.

An eight-member panel constituted Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs scrutinised projects from across India in three-level and based on the findings they declared HD-BRTS as the best transit project in Country.

The operation management, use of technology (ITS system), frequency of bus services, facilities at bus station & depots, and most importantly the popularity of the bus service ensured that HD-BRTS bag this coveted award. Within a year, the number of people using HD-BRTS went up from 15,000 a day to 85,000 passengers per day. No other BRTS that is currently operating in India has three-four lane dedicated corridor. Sources said this was one of the major reasons for project from twin cities winning the award.

HD-BRTS, which is yet to see a formal inauguration, trail run commenced on October 2, 2018. However, it was only in March that all the 125 AC buses, which are named Chigari, started plying between the four-lane dedicated corridor between Hubballi and Dharwad, which are 28 km apart.

“We are happy that within one year of starting operation the HD-BRTS has been recognised by the Union government for its operational system and other facilities,” said HD-BRTS Managing Director Rajendra Cholan, who will collect the award at a function to be held in Lucknow on November 17.

Far from perfect

While the Union government has recognised the project as the best in Country, the ground reality is contradictory. The several infrastructure works are still in progress. Citizens have been complaining of waterlogging at many bus stops during a rainy day. The service is making loses as AC buses are being run at the price of ordinary buses. Every day HD-BRTS is incurring an operation loss of Rs seven to eight lakh.

“We acknowledge that there are loopholes in infrastructure currently and Challenges on revenue front. However, we are working towards them and will be fixed them at the earliest. We are also planning to introduce smart card within next 15 days and once that is implemented, HD-BRTS functioning will become further smooth,” said Cholan.

Published 12 November 2019, 11:27 IST

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