BRT corridor gets go-ahead (Lead)

April 26th, 2008 - 5:48 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) The much-hyped bus rapid transit (BRT) system corridor in south Delhi got the go-ahead from Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Saturday despite facing heavy flak in the last few days over the massive traffic pile ups and chaos. Dikshit decided to go ahead with the 5.6-km long Ambedkar Nagar-Moolchand stretch that is to be extended up to Delhi Gate.

“The government will go ahead with the current corridor as the things have improved a lot now. More efforts will be made to improve the flow of traffic. The government is against putting the commuters to any kind of inconvenience at all,” Dikshit told reporters after a meeting to review the BRT scheme following public protests.

The corridor is to be thrown open officially on May 1. The total length of the corridor up to Delhi Gate is 15.5 km.

The construction on the new corridors, Dikshit said, would not start till the present one was proved a success. The government has proposed six more corridors to ply high capacity buses across the city ahead of the Commonwealth Games 2010.

The test run, which began Sunday, was marked by chaos and mismanagement for the first few days. Signs of improvement were seen on Friday.

The government would also explore the possibility of setting up a couple of foot overbridges on the stretch for pedestrians.

“Apart from the foot overbridges, the implementing agencies will concentrate on upgrading the traffic signals and other signages along with enforcing traffic discipline,” Delhi’s Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta told IANS.

Manoj Aggarwal, transport head of the Delhi Integrated Multimodal Transport System (DIMTS) - the executing agency for the BRT corridor, said: “The monitoring of traffic is going to be intensified.”

The total cost of the 15.5-km Ambedkar Nagar-Delhi Gate corridor is estimated to be Rs.2.15 billion.

Senior officials of DIMTS, Delhi Transport Department, Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), Delhi Traffic Police, Rail India Technology and Engineering Services (RITES), and experts from the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi were present at Saturday’s meeting.

Mehta Friday had held a series of meetings with resident welfare associations (RWAs) to convince them about how the BRT system was going to solve their commuting woes.

Dikshit had found herself in trouble following mounting pressure from the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a section of leaders in her own Congress party over the corridor scheme. The BJP and Left members even raised the issue in both the houses of parliament.

Chowdhury Prem Singh, senior Congress leader and state assembly speaker, Thursday sought the intervention of Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna in scrapping the project. He represents the Ambedkar Nagar reserved assembly seat.

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