The hugely unpopular Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system will stay, but won’t grow. For the time being. On Saturday, the government announced steps to improve the ready-for-use stretch in south Delhi and put on hold all expansion plans.
Coming out of a two-hour meeting on the fate of the BRT corridor, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit told reporters, “The government has stalled future expansion of the BRT project till we make this corridor perfect.”
The government has now ordered at least two over-bridges on the BRT — for pedestrians to cross over to the bus bays running down the middle of the road — and a parallel road to ease the traffic load on this stretch.
Dikshit was referring to the 5.8 km stretch of BRT between Ambedkar Nagar and Moolchand flyover that has run into trouble in the testing stage due to huge traffic jams and pedestrian problems.
“With change, there are bound to be some difficulties. (But) we are not scrapping it,” she said. There are no time frames for making the corridor “perfect” and for work to begin on the other BRT projects in the city.
This newspaper has been writing about the defects in the corridor and the bottlenecks that have made this key south Delhi road impossible for use by residents of colonies serviced by it — Greater Kailash I, II and III, Saket, Press Enclave, Alaknanda, Chittaranjan Park and Panchsheel.
A top official told the Hindustan Times on the condition of anonymity that given the points raised at the meeting and the mood, no progress is expected on the corridor at least till the assembly elections, which are likely in December.