End of the road for Sheila Dikshit’s failed BRT plan

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 22, 2015 01:51 IST
Experts say the decision to scrap the BRT corridor will hit efforts to control pollution since the basic idea behind the system was to promote public transport and reduce the use of cars. (Ajay aggarwal/HT File)

The AAP government on Tuesday decided to scrap the much-criticised bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor in south Delhi, saying the model, built by the Sheila Dikshit administration in 2008, had failed in the national Capital.

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said the decision was taken at a cabinet meeting and the transport department will begin working on the modalities to dismantle the 5.8-km stretch — the only operational portion remaining of the 14.5-km corridor from Ambedkar Nagar to Delhi Gate.

Conceived to ease the city’s traffic woes by creating a dedicated lane for public transport, the BRT corridor ended up compounding the problem, leading to public calls, including from PWD officials, for its withdrawal.

“There was a public demand and there have been several accidents on the corridor. Because of this, the traffic movement was haphazard. Considering all this, the Delhi government has decided to scrap the BRT,” said Sisodia.

The deputy CM, whose party had proposed plans for similar corridors in the assembly’s budget session, however, said the city needs an “accident-free” BRT-like model.

“There is no doubt that we need a BRT-like model to make public transport stronger. There are many such successful models across the world but somehow it failed in Delhi. We will start afresh. To strengthen public transport, we need to give space to buses and we need to have a model, which is accident-free,” Sisodia said.

The process to the scrap the controversial corridor was initiated by AAP’s Greater Kailash MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj during the party’s previous 49-day government in which he was the transport minister. When the party came to power again in February – this time with a thumping majority – Bhardwaj along with several other AAP MLAs from south Delhi met transport minister Gopal Rai and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal urging them to scrap the corridor.

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