Thursday, January 21, 2010

Moolchand – Delhi Gate BRT to become operational before 2010 CWG

The under-construction portion of the pilot Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor from Moolchand to Delhi Gate will become operational before Commonwealth Games.

Chief minister Shiela Dikshit said on Wednesday that the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the second corridor from Shastri Park to Karawal Nagar is almost complete too, and learning from their past experiences, the government has ensured that this corridor would be very different from the South Delhi one.

‘‘The construction of the remaining part of the pilot BRT corridor is complete. It will be started soon, well before Commonwealth Games. The other corridor from Karawal Nagar to Shastri Park will also come up soon,’’ said Dikshit, at the sidelights of a symposium on BRT systems organized by Delhi Integrated Multi Modal Transit Systems on Wednesday. She added that the next BRT corridor will be constructed keeping in view the experiences and feedback received from all concerned sections as BRT is ‘‘bound to cater to local needs’’.

The new corridor is being planned on the eastern side of Yamuna pushta. The 8.65-km long corridor was initially planned from Shastri Park to Karawal Nagar, which has now been extended to Usmanpur. ‘‘The corridor is expected to be used by a population of about 5 lakh people, of which a majority have an average household income of less than Rs 5,000 per month. The number of cars are also lesser than the average in Delhi. Now, we have proposed to extend the corridor from Karawal Nagar to Gandhi Nagar and add another link from Bhajanpura to Mori Gate to it,’’ said Alok Bhardwaj, Head of Transportation Planning, DIMTS.

The corridor is expected to carry about one lakh persons per day as per ridership studies. Learning from the first experience, bus lanes from both directions will be located on one side of the road and pedestrian footpaths and cycle tracks are being provided to cater to the heavy rush of non-motorized vehicles and people. The bus shelters will be closed, unlike the ones in the pilot corridor, and systems like off-board ticketing based on smart cards, passenger information system (PIS) and Global Positioning System in buses will be fitted before the corridor starts.

The government seems to be learning from the BRT fiasco. Delhi transport commissioner RK Verma said BRT was a concept that Delhi government had turned down at first. ‘‘If we want BRT to become successful, we need to adapt it to the needs of people in the area where it is being implemented.’’