For those driving through the 5.8-km Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) corridor in south Delhi on Saturday, it was a drive full of confusion as the dedicated lanes for buses were opened for all vehicles.
The five-day trial run for mixed traffic vehicular usage on the BRT corridor — between Ambedkar Nagar and Moolchand — began amid traffic chaos and violations.
The traffic, at all intersections, went haywire, giving hard time to the Traffic Police as very few knew about the trial run. The bus commuters were also left confused as the bus stands — that are between the lanes — were made dysfunctional and the buses plied from extreme left lanes, the way they operate on any other road.
The Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), after being mandated by the Delhi High Court, is carrying out a five-day study of the traffic and signal pattern at Delhi’s highly controversial BRT stretch.
“We have done away with the dedicated bus lanes for five days and the temporary bus stands have been made on the left side of the road,” said S Velmurugan, a senior scientist with CRRI who is also heading the study team.
The trial run started amid gross violations of traffic rules. “Even after giving traffic advisory in the newspapers and distributing over 50,000 pamphlets, five to 10 per cent people are not following lanes,” Velmurugam added.
The real challenge for the research agency would be to study the traffic from Monday. “It was our soft launch on weekend. We’ll be doing time, delay and fuel consumption study from Monday when people use the stretch to go to their offices,” he said.
According to the modified traffic plan, the concrete dividers between the present bus lanes have been fitted with reflective markers. The areas where there is no concrete divider, metal barricades have been placed.
Meanwhile, the BRT users have varied opinion on the trial run. “It looks fine today. Lets see, what happens on weekdays,” said Sidhartha Jain, a BRT user.