Transport dept revives dedicated bus lane plan | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Transport dept revives dedicated bus lane plan

mumbai Updated: May 29, 2011 02:28 IST
Neha Ghatpande
Neha Ghatpande
Hindustan Times
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Hoping to mitigate the nightmarish commute for Mumbaiites on the Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR), transport authorities have resurrected the plan for the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS). The plan had been proposed five years ago for the Eastern Express Highway and Western Express Highway, but its feasibility was question.

To keep the project in the loop, transport experts presented a study to the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Develo-pment Authority (MMRDA).

The MMRDA and Mumbai Environment Social Networks commissioned the study while the Rachana Sansad Urban Designing Cell executed it. The presentation will be made at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

The JVLR, started in 2003, was supposed to provide smooth connectivity between the eastern and western suburbs. Today, it is tangled in traffic woes. The rising number of vehicles and poor public transport and bottlenecks has made it a nightmare for commuters during peak hours. HT had reported on March 15 about how residents were afraid to step out on to the road due to the crazy traffic and poor footpaths. The study states several reasons why the 12 lanes (along with service roads) and 10-km JVLR stretch has been selected. The area is an industrial hub so the number of private buses is more than that of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST).

There is no convenient option of the railways and it provides east-west connectivity.

“This is a unique proposal and we have conducted a detailed study of the road and how it can be utilised to provide dedicated lanes for buses in the form of BRTS. The lanes will be used for all private and public transport buses and also for emergency service vehicles such as ambulance and fire brigade. All this can be done within Rs 30 crore,” said Ashok Datar, transport expert and participant in the study.

The presentation also includes comparison between other cities that are successfully running the BRTS such as Pune and Ahmedabad.

Transport expert Sudhir Badami believes the objective of the BRTS should be very clear. “The JVLR proposal is fantastic but all of Mumbai should be taken into consideration. Also, the objective of BRTS should be to reduce passenger load on railways and not of private vehicles,” Badami said.

The MMRDA, that has been passing the buck to other agencies, said BEST should implement the project. “The JVLR study is promising and the BEST can do justice to it,” said Dilip Kawathkar, joint project director, MMRDA.