Two more days and if things don’t improve on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) stretch, the government in all likelihood may abandon the project that has caused widespread anger and a traffic nightmare in south Delhi.
“If the people of Delhi feel that it is not working, we could take a decision. After all in a democratic set-up, policies and programmes are drawn for the benefit of the people,” said Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf on Tuesday. He, however, still hoped that the 5.8 km corridor from Ambedkar Nagar to Moolchand flyover would “succeed” after the faults are rectified.
“We do not want to do anything to inconvenience the people in an election year,” he said. His comments came even as jams on the BRT continued to fuel public anger for the third straight day.
The anger echoed in the Rajya Sabha as well where members demanded scrapping of the project — “one of the most ill-conceived transport schemes ever seen by the capital”.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit meanwhile chaired an emergency meeting with all BRT stakeholders. A source said she was “angry, disturbed and annoyed” due to the complete failure of the project so far. “She had realised that the cascading effect of the corridor had practically led to huge traffic problems in most south Delhi localities,” the source added.
Abandoning the project did not come up for discussion but Dikshit gave a stern warning to all involved in the project — DIMTS, transport department, DTC, traffic police, RITES and two professors from IIT-Delhi. “You people had advised us that the project is doing wonders elsewhere. The experience suggests otherwise,” she told the officials and gave them two days to improve the system.
It was decided at the meeting to remove all the 100 Blueline buses from the route with immediate effect. From Wednesday, DTC buses, including the new low-floor ones, will replace them. The signages would be improved in the next 72 hours with the focus being on big pictorial signs.
The next review would be held on Saturday. “If things do not improve by then, it could well be bye-bye BRT,” said a source.