Surprised by the sudden opposition to the BRT, chief minister Sheila Dikshit said the corridor won’t be expanded till she was clear that the people will accept it. Excerpts from an interview:
BRT is under fire once again. The court has to decide on the existing corridor but the government has planned 15 more. What will happen to them?
We will not start anything new unless we have the people’s acceptance. We do not want to have a similar situation (where people oppose the corridor) in other parts of the city.
The government has already finalised consultants for some of the proposed corridors.
Everything has been put on hold. Unless we get it studied properly, we are not going to plan it further.
How much time do you need to take a final decision on it?
See, eventually it has to come up. There are seven million vehicles in the city and they are growing at a steady pace. There are families, I am told, which have 16-20 cars. Car owners should understand that they do not own the roads.
We have a successful example of BRT in Ahmedabad. Can’t we have something similar?
There is a lot of difference between the two cities. The number of private cars in Delhi is much higher. But I have asked my officers to go and observe the project.
But the government didn’t do much to improve the BRT system in Delhi.
There was criticism when the corridor opened four years ago and we made some changes. The signalling system was improved; the bus lane was moved from the centre to the right on its remaining part. And it was mostly acceptable to everybody. We also won all four seats around that corridor in assembly polls that year. Everything was quiet for the past four years. But when the elections came, everybody started venting their ire against it again.