Millennium Post

BRT Corridor: AAP to pull plug on Sheila’s dream project

BRT Corridor: AAP to pull plug on Sheila’s dream project
“The government has taken the decision to scrap the project. A formal announcement is just a matter of time,” said Nagendar Sharma, spokesperson of Delhi government. “The work order to scrap the project and restore the road may be issued at any time now,” he emphasised. He further added all the five MLAs whose constituencies fall along the corridor have expressed their serious concerns about the corridor and have demanded to scrap it at the earliest. “We had started the process to scrap the BRT corridor in our earlier 49-day tenure but could not execute it. The project has failed completely at every stage from planning to construction to execution,” he added.

BRT Corridor, the flagship project of Delhi’s former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has received flak from every quarter since its inception in 2008. Initially, the government had planned the first stretch of 14.2 km from Delhi Gate to Ambedkar Nagar as a pilot project but it could construct only 5.8 km stretch on this route. In a letter to the Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi on December 5, 2014 the Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi had demanded that the project be scrapped stating four main points against the BRT. Bassi wrote that the signalling system was not in sync with the main carriageway, bus stops situated in the middle of the road increased the risk of pedestrian causalities, the faulty layout left little lane space for manoeuvring heavy traffic and no merging distance for buses after they move out of the central lane onto the open road just before the Defence Colony flyover made the site accident prone.

The then Dikshit government had invested Rs 150 crore in the project and had left no stone unturned to ensure its success including hiring services of professors from IIT Delhi, deploying traffic marshals, intelligent signal system (ISS and heavy traffic police force and transport officer deployment to enforce the traffic rules be followed - but all the steps failed. In spite of the failure of the pilot 5.8 km stretch,  Dikshit declared 14 more BRT Corridors but a week before the 2013 Delhi assembly elections she cancelled the project and announced that there would be ‘no more’ BRT Corridors.

In 2004, RITES Ltd had recommended the construction of 34 BRT Corridors in Delhi to handle rapidly increasing traffic in the city following which the Delhi Multi Modal Transit System (DIMTS), a joint venture of Delhi government and IDFC foundation, was brought on board for the task.
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