The Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS), inaugurated by Punjab deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday, faced traffic hiccups on Friday. The metro bus drivers and the project team had a hard time organising a smooth flow of the project.
HT observed that the metro buses ran through the normal road traffic while the district administration stood as a mute spectator.
The deputy CM had inaugurated the project with four buses in the first phase and they were traversed from India Gate on the Amritsar-Attari bypass road to the Amritsar railway station. On Friday morning, these metro buses came out to be a big attraction for the people as people in large number reached the bus stops to enjoy the free ride being given during the testing stage.
However, the craze was such once on the bus, it was difficult to ask people to get off them. “There are four buses moving on this route and the response is good. In one time, one bus is covering 17 stops and is able to get 90-95 passengers. People are enjoying the service but there is a need to sensitise them not to misuse it. Even the hydraulic doors have become an amusement for the people here,” said project manager Deepak Malhotra, who has been given the contract of running all the 93 metro buses in the city.
Meanwhile, despite police commissioner Alok Nath Angra assuring that 50 cops would be put on duty to make sure that no damage is done to the bus passages and corridors, no cop was seen on duty.
Driver of one of the BRTS bus Avtar Singh told HT that auto drivers have been threatening them saying that their business would be affected with these buses and they won’t let that happen.
“I am only doing my duty but this threatening has become a cause of concern. Also the traffic snarls are creating problem in the movement of the vehicle.”
Commenting on this, Amritsar DC Basant Garg said, “The administration would make sure that this project is streamlined and is made more systematic. I will ask the commissioner to deploy more cops on the diversions and in the corridors.”
Mushrooming auto rickshaws would hit the BRTS project
The team involved in the project spoke to HT on the condition of anonymity about the challenges the project might face. “The city police needs to be efficient in streamlining the traffic. Then, the people need to be made aware about their cooperation in the project’s success. They must make full use of the service but in a civilised manner.”