The central government doesn’t want Delhi’s bitter experience with the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor to be repeated elsewhere in the country.
It has called a meeting with officials of states where nine other BRTs are being planned to discuss — and change if necessary — plans by factoring in the huge traffic problems the corridor caused in Delhi.
“We are going to have a meeting of all state urban development secretaries in a few days to discuss the issues regarding BRTs that are coming up. All the BRT projects coming up in nine Indian cities would be reviewed,” Union Urban Development Secretary M. Ramachandran told Hindustan Times. “The Delhi BRT experience would be an item for discussion.”
It’s something the Delhi government too could have done before finishing the 5.8 km BRT corridor between Ambedkar Nagar and Moolchand flyover. There were enough lessons to be learnt from Pune, the first Indian city to have the system more than a year ago. The unfinished BRT system in Pune was a huge flop too: it caused several deaths and led to huge chaos on the road.
It was on Saturday that the Delhi government did something sensible: it at least put on hold the expansion of the project.
Ramachandran said lessons could be learnt Delhi and Pune. “The traffic volume in Delhi is much more than the road space available. In Pune, pedestrians were facing a lot of problems on the corridor. All this would be factored in the upcoming BRT projects,” he said.
The centre is funding BRT systems in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Indore, Jaipur, Nagpur, Pune, Rajkot and Vijaywada through the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. The Delhi BRT is separate, and funded by the state government. “We are not going to put on hold these BRTs but will decide on what needs to be done,” Ramachandran said.