Fewer hiccups on new bus corridor, no Bluelines

April 22nd, 2008 - 8:53 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) After two harrowing days, the capital hit the much-touted Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system on a stretch of busy thoroughfare in south Delhi with a smoother ride Tuesday - no unending traffic snarls and no heated tempers. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit came down heavily on the agencies concerned for not effectively implementing the system and announced that Blueline buses would be taken off the corridor in a phased manner.

The chief minister, who called a high-level meeting to discuss the fallout of the test-run of the 5-6-km long Ambedkar Nagar-Moolchand BRT system, said the corridor is meant only for low-floor high capacity buses and the state government would stop Bluelines from running on it.

The chief minister will review the progress of the test run on Saturday. The corridor is scheduled to be opened officially May 1.

“All the agencies concerned must streamline the operationalisation of the BRT corridor so that the people do not face hardships. The private Blueline buses will be removed from the BRT corridor in a phased manner,” Dikshit said.

The city government will get more low-floor capacity buses and ordinary buses of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) on the corridor. Around 45 low floor buses are currently plying on the corridor, while the number of private Blueline buses is approximately 100.

“The stakeholders must tighten all the loose ends in a co-ordinated manner to overcome the teething problems,” Dikshit said, adding that work on other BRT projects has been suspended till the current corridor

The chaos and trafffic jams on the corridor Monday elicited strong criticism from all quarters. The city unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is holding a candle light march Tuesday evening to protest against the corridor.

Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf, Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta, principal secretary to Dikshit P.K. Tripathi, Transport Commissioner R.K. Verma, DTC managing director Ramesh Negi, Delhi Integrated Multimodal Transport System (DIMTS) chief S.N. Sahai, and Joint Commissioner of Delhi Traffic Police S.N. Srivastavaattended the meeting that lasted over two hours.

Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) managing director V.K. Agarwal, and Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi professors Dinesh Mohan and Geetam Tiwari, who are technical advisors for the BRT, were present at the meeting.

“The stakeholders were given stern warning and an ultimatum to set things right in a couple of days. The meeting also decided that the transport commissioner will make an on-the-spot assessment of the situation every day,” an official press release said.

“All DTC buses will have two conductors to ensure no passenger on the bus hangs outside or travels on the footboards. Proper explanatory signs will be put up to help people follow instructions, apart from educating motorists to stick to their lanes,” the statement said.

Dikshit hoped that matters would improve in the coming days.

“The BRT is a successfully tried and tested mode of transportation in 80 countries. IIT-Delhi is developing suitable software to determine timings of traffic signals on the first corridor. It will be beneficial to the people of Delhi too,” she said at the meeting.

The BRT officials said Tuesday was much better day with no harrowing traffic jams.

“It was far better today. It is going to improve every day. The motorists are also co-operating. We simply want them to stick to their respective lanes. They should also abide by the traffic lights and instructions from the traffic marshals,” R.S. Minhans, senior manager BRT, told IANS.

The BRT corridor on each side has four lanes - meant for buses,r scooters and cars, cyclists and pedestrians. The width of the bus lane is 3.5 metres, while that of the scooters-cars 7 is metres, and cyclists and pedestrians each have two metres wide lane.

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