Delhiites may have deep pockets but possess scant regard for traffic rules. And they do not seem to mind a steep penalty if they are caught breaking the law.
Despite the Delhi government notifying a penalty of R2,000 on vehicles straying into bus or cycle lanes on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor on Thursday, motorists continued to break rules with impunity.
There were more cars and motorcycles moving in the 5.8 km corridor — between Ambedkar Nagar and Moolchand Hospital — than buses and emergency vehicles.
On Friday, Delhi Integrated Multi Modal Transit System, the agency maintaining and operating the corridor, recorded 42 violations and sent it to the transport department.
The transport department will send notices to violators. "Bahut paise hain mere paas yaar, do hazaar ka challan bhi de denge (I have a lot of money. I'll pay a challan of R2,000 fine too)," said a young man in a car in the bus lane near Chirag Dilli.
Opened in April 2008, the BRT corridor is the first and only road in Delhi that has a separate lane reserved for buses and bicycles.
Apart from buses — DTC, Blueline, chartered and mini buses — only emergency vehicles, like ambulances and police vehicles, are allowed in the bus lane.
Earlier, the Delhi government had developed a system where buses were given preference over cars and two-wheelers along the busy corridor.
Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit had then said it was the first step towards making people leave their personal vehicles back home and travel by public transport, as buses would take less time on the stretch.
"It has become impossible for us to stop motorists entering the bus or the cycle lane. They squabble with us and there have been instances when they have beaten up our colleagues," said a traffic warden at the corridor.
However, while the transport department notified an enhanced penalty on Thursday, no enforcement team from the transport department or the traffic police was present along the corridor to implement lane driving.
According to senior transport officials, both the traffic police and the enforcement wing of the transport department can penalise violators. "We do not have to station our enforcement teams along the corridor. We have special cameras at each intersection," Delhi transport minister Arvinder Singh said.
"We will also put up boards along the corridor, informing violators that they will have to pay R2,000 as fine," he added.