Delhi BRT corridor gets scrapped
Arvind Kejriwal led AAP Government in Delhi has scrapped the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) corridor system. The decision was taken through a meeting chaired by Kejriwal. The deputy CM said that even though this system failed, it was still essential to strengthen public transportation. Faulty design led to failure of the system. The Transportation Department will prepare a report on how to dismantle it.
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a transit system that delivers swifter and comfortable travel at a minimal cost. The system has lanes, bus-ways and bus-stations aligned on the middle of the roads. In addition, these lanes do not permit other modes of transportations. With metro-like features, BRT too has fee collection in the bus-stations and not in the bus itself.
A BRT corridor is a series of roads which are served by a bus-route within a minimum of 3 km. In addition, it must score 4 or more points in both right-of-way and bus-way alignment elements.
Sheila Dikshit opened the first 5.8 Km BRT corridor in 2008. This was seen as a solution to traffic and pollution woes. Poor implementation and planning resulted in congestion. The Delhi High Court allowed private vehicles to use the bus lane and the Delhi Government appealed to SC. The appeal was rejected and the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the proposed scheme.
The first route was opened in 2008 ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The route was from Dr. Ambedkar Nagar in the south to Delhi Gate in the centre of the city. The plan drew inspiration from the one in Curitiba, Brazil.
BJP demanded the suspension of the BRT corridor and announced that it would dismantle it, if voted to power. Dikshit also promised to scrap it if Congress retained power. She also shelved 14 similar projects and admitted the reason for failure as unsuccessful maintenance, despite her strong advocacy of the system earlier. The government had meanwhile spent more than Rs 150 crore over it.
Post the death of a 12 year-old in the corridor, AAP representatives proposed to discard the project. Representatives met MLAs and passed a resolution. Kejriwal gave an in-principal approval to draft formal cabinet-note earlier, which got stalled due to his resignation. With plans for five newer BRT under "De-congest Delhi", the Development Ministry assured that the existing project being scrapped would have no impact.