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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Delhi: Transport dept wants govt to clear air on BRT

Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 04, 2014
First Published: 13:38 IST(4/5/2014) | Last Updated: 13:52 IST(4/5/2014)

The Sheila Dikshit led government introduced it but didn’t want it; the Arvind Kejriwal-led government didn’t find the time to deal with it. And now the officials do not know what to do with it.

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The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) issue has been hanging fire ever since its introduction in 2008. Now the transport department of the city has sought clarity over its fate. Sources said the transport department is going to write to the Delhi government, to know if the project is to be implemented or scrapped.

The Sheila Dikshit government had introduced the Ambedkar Nagar-Moolchand BRT in south Delhi in 2008. Dikshit, later however, vowed to scrap the project for the remaining corridors if she was voted back to power in the Assembly polls last year.

The BJP too has been demanding the suspension of the BRT corridor and said it would dismantle it if voted to power.

Though the system, after its introduction, was welcomed by bus commuters, the move drew severe criticism from car users who claimed that it added to the congestion on the roads.

The concept of BRT envisioned a dedicated lane for fast movement of buses, while the remaining traffic, critics claimed, jostled for space in the remaining two lanes of the road.

According to sources, the transport department will be sending out a file to the chief secretary’s office soon, seeking a policy decision on the transportation system.

“We will be writing to the chief secretary to know what policy needs to be followed on BRT. It will also make things clear about the future of the project,” said a senior Delhi government official. Sources in the government added that the file will be sent to the Lieutenant Governor too as he will take the final call on the fate of the project.

“There are a number of detailed projects reports which have been prepared. A number of studies have also been undertaken by various government agencies too on BRT. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was in favour of continuing the BRT scheme, but due to their exit there is no clarity whether we should continue the work or not. This is one of the main reasons why we are asking for the government’s viewpoint over the issue,” added the official.

Sources, however, further added that it was unlikely that an early decision will be taken on the issue as the administration may want to wait for an elected government to take the final call.

Some of the proposed BRTs are in East Delhi while others have been planned for West and North Delhi. Removal of the BRT was one of the major poll issues in the Greater Kailash Assembly constituency.


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