BRT in Delhi:Worsening Mess

No amount of public outcry, suffering and  deaths seem to have any effect on the Delhi Government, run by Shiela Dixit, who otherwise has a positive image.

The Lieut Governor Tejinder Khanna has not been able to stop the worsening mess, which is spiralling out of control with another segment (Defence colony)  being   being added to the already existing chaotic Chirag Dilli segment.


BRT crawl: 1km in 30 minutes

Corridor Gets More Chaotic At Chirag Dilli Crossing, But No Relief In Sight

TIMES NEWS NETWORK

New Delhi: Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) continues to be a dreaded word for Delhiites. A good two years after trial runs were started on the pilot corridor, commuters still take 20-30 minutes to cross the brief stretch of about 1 km between Chirag Dilli and Pushp Vihar crossings. With four malls and multiplexes, three major hospitals, a Delhi Development Authority (DDA) sports complex and a proposed district court, the volume of traffic coming onto BRT from Press Enclave Road is only going to increase, aggravating the jams.

Even as the jams persist, none of the solutions promised to decongest the stretch, including a clover leaf flyover at Chirag Dilli, intelligent signalling, parking lots, foot overbridges and road widening has happened on ground. The result: Those who commute in private vehicles continue to have a harrowing experience.

‘‘Even on Sundays when all the roads are empty, there is a jam on the Chirag Dilli crossing on BRT. I take anything between 20-30 minutes to cross this stretch. This has only become worse with the malls opening in Saket,’’ said Prerna Gandhi, a resident of Amar Colony.

What makes it worse is that a majority of south Delhi residents depend on hospitals on Press Enclave Road for healthcare. With the only access to the stretch provided through this part of BRT, reaching a hospital has also become a pain.

‘‘There aren’t any big hospitals in the area apart from Moolchand, which is always crowded. But reaching any of the hospitals on Press Enclave Road is a huge pain. I was taking my father there for a checkup and ended up spending a good 35 minutes just to cover the 2-3 km stretch,’’ said Amit Dhingra, a resident of Greater Kailash-II.

Commuters feel it is even more frustrating to see an empty bus lane on the side, even as the entire road, cycle track and even footpath are bursting at their seams with vehicles and pedestrians.
‘‘Every morning, there are bikes on the cycle lane, forcing cyclists onto the footpaths and people like us have no space to walk. I have to brave all the traffic just to reach the Chirag Dilli bus stop everyday,’’ said Shekhar Jain, a resident of Shiekh Sarai.

Added businessman Hitesh Sharma: ‘‘The BRT is a nuisance. I travel to Pushp Vihar frequently, and the morning traffic here crawls, literally. If a car breaks down or there is a minor accident, that means chaos. Even the footpaths are taken over by vehicles.’’ The solutions to the jams between Chirag Dilli and Pushp Vihar crossings, which were proposed by the government when lane segregation was enforced on the corridor two years ago, are yet to see the light of day.

Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMMTS), which is operating the corridor, was supposed to put up intelligent signals to bring down waiting time at the Chirag Dilli crossing. But the project was recently approved and installation has just begun.

The other solution, construction of a grade separator at Chirag Dilli to reduce waiting time, i still in the planning stage. According to officials, the location and final design have been finalised and submitted to Delhi Development Authority (DDA)’s technical committee for approval. But there are no plans to start construction anytime soon.

In a desperate bid to make BRT work, the government had proposed construction of parking lots where people can leave their cars and use BRT and foot overbridges in the corridor. But even these are not ready for use. ‘‘As for now, it has been put on the backburner till the Commonwealth Games. The unofficial direction seemingly is to maintain status quo on the corridor,’’ said a senior official, who pleaded anonymity.

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