‘Give BRTS time to overcome teething troubles’

April 25th, 2008 - 8:45 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) The much-maligned Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) in the capital Friday found unexpected backers with two environmental watchdogs defending the new traffic segregation model and saying it should be given time to iron out initial hiccups. “The BRTS means a massive transition in Delhi’s traffic ways (and) therefore implementation problems are bound to happen. But scrapping the project cannot give a solution for Delhi’s traffic woes,” Centre of Science and Environment (CSE) director Sunita Narain told reporters here.

“Buses mobilize 61 percent of the capital’s population and cover only eight percent of the road space. So providing a faster lane for buses will be in larger good,” Narain said.

The BRTS corridor on each side has four lanes - meant for buses, two-wheelers and cars, cyclists and pedestrians. The width of the bus lane is 3.5 metres, while that of two-wheelers and cars is seven metres, and cyclists and pedestrians each have two-metre wide lane.

The Rs.1.8 billion project had come under heavy criticism after the capital witnessed major traffic snarls on the 5.6-km stretch of BRTS from Ambedkar Nagar to Moolchand in south Delhi, which has been opened for trial run.

“”The traffic situation on the Ambedkar Nagar-Moolchand stretch has also improved after the signal cycle was changed and space was given to vehicles where there was congestion,” Narain said.

Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) chairman Bhure Lal also backed the project, saying that BRTS was necessary as 1,000 new motor vehicles were added to the city’s roads every day.

“Segregation of space for traffic will help traffic in moving efficiently and faster,” Bhure Lal said.

“The BRTS will supplement the metro and will be part of the integrated transport that will be the future of the city. We need to build a public transport system where all metro, road and proposed monorail are interlinked,” Narain said.

Narain also said that buses could not fight with cars for space as the “bus system deteriorates in congestion”.

The system has been under fire from road users and citizen’s groups after massive traffic snarls left motorists fuming and pedestrians complaining they were finding it difficult to negotiate the heavy traffic.

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