Bus corridor does not affect VIPs
Officially, the bus lane on BRT corridor can only be used by public service vehicles on emergency duty, such as ambulances, fire brigades and police vans on duty, reports Atul Mathur.delhi Updated: Jan 12, 2009 00:21 IST
Wonder why the ever-congested Bus Rapid Transit corridor is rarely criticised in the bureaucratic and political circles?
Because unlike ordinary motorists who have to negotiate hour-long jams caused by physical segregation of lanes, government vehicles simply zip past in the lanes meant exclusively for buses.
Policemen in their official cars, bureaucrats and political honchos in cars with beacons, personnel from the armed forces in their jeeps and embassy staff in vehicles with blue number plates –– all of them are seen moving freely in bus lanes.
“If lanes have been segregated, it should be implemented uniformly. You can’t expect an ordinary person to wait for hours and allow a VIP to go into empty bus lanes,” said Anusha Banerjee, a resident of CR Park.
Officially, the bus lane on BRT corridor can only be used by public service vehicles on emergency duty, such as ambulances, fire brigades and police vans on duty. “Even VIPs like ministers, senior bureaucrats and army personnel are not supposed to travel in the bus lane,” a senior official said on condition of anonymity.
Traffic marshals deployed along the corridor said they are often threatened and beaten up by motorists if they try to stop them.
“Now our seniors have also told us not to argue with the motorists. We just take down the registration numbers and pass them on to traffic police and transport department,” said Deepak Kumar (name changed) a traffic marshal at the Chirag Dilli intersection.
Interestingly, even the Delhi government, which advocates the BRT concept vociferously, seemed clueless on how to stop vehicles from entering the bus lane. “It is for the traffic police to prosecute the violators but traffic police have also refused to have anything to do with the BRT corridor. Though discussions are on for Delhi Integrated Multi-modal Transit System (DIMTS) to take over the BRT corridor formally, even DIMTS does not have the power to prosecute violators,” said Delhi chief secretary Rakesh Mehta said.
Deputy Commissioner (Traffic) Rupinder Singh, however, said the traffic police do prosecute unauthorised vehicles moving in bus lane, including government vehicles. “Traffic marshals also note down the registration numbers of vehicles and we send notices to their owners,” he added.