Manic Monday on Delhi’s special bus corridor (Lead)

April 22nd, 2008 - 12:23 am ICT by admin  


New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) The second day’s test run of the much-touted Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system on a stretch of busy thoroughfare in south Delhi Monday saw chaos and mismanagement galore - belying its objective to spruce up traffic management on the capital’s roads. The 5.6 km stretch from Ambedkar Nagar to Moolchand Hospital in south Delhi witnessed heated tempers as office-goers got stuck in long jams on way to work in the morning. The test run on Sunday proved equally chaotic, though the roads were relatively less crowded.

The situation was under control till 9.30 a.m. However, with the office-goers and students starting off for their destinations the situation got worse.

“I had to go to Chirag Enclave School to pick up students but I was stuck in the traffic jam for 45 minutes. Children were waiting for me outside the school,” said bus driver Jagdish. “The road was terribly jammed today.”

The lack of information about the separate corridors on the road added to the confusion.

The corridor has four lanes on either side - one for buses, second for scooters and cars, third for cyclists and fourth for pedestrians. The width of the bus lane is 3.5 metres, while that for scooters-cars is seven metres; cyclists and pedestrians have a two-metre lane each.

“There is a lot of confusion. People don’t have a clue about the division of lanes for different vehicles and it has resulted in traffic jams. With the vehicular traffic triple that of Sunday, normal commuting time was nearly doubled,” said a hapless office-goer.

Senior traffic police officials could be seen guiding cyclists, auto-rickshaws, scooters and cars to their dedicated corridors.

“Cars piled up on the road as people had no knowledge about the separate corridors,” a cyclist said.

Scores of commuters from the Light Motor Vehicle lane jumped on to the bus lane to escape the jam. Two-wheelers drove on the pathway meant for cyclists, while pedestrians crossed the road as they pleased.

“Our lane is jam-packed. If I hadn’t jumped onto the bus lane, I would have wasted 45 minutes in the traffic jam,” said motorcyclist Pawan Kumar.

“The three-minute long signals also slowed down the vehicular traffic,” R.S. Minhans, senior manager BRTS, said.

After the jam got out ofspin, the automated traffic signals were switched off, and the traffic constables handled it manually, after which the situation improved.

Minhans said a major drive was on to educate drivers on the corridors by distributing pamphlets and leaflets.

“So far we have distributed 10,000 pamphlets. The confusion may continue for the next few days but we expect matters to be fine by May 1, when the corridor would be thrown open,” Minhans added.

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