April 29, 2008

After BRT fiasco in Delhi, AMC treads cautiously on corridor

The bus rapid transit system (BRTS) had promised to change the face of Delhi for the better, but when the corridor was made operational it caused major traffic chaos in the southern part of the national capital. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has pressed the panic button and decided to learn lessons from it before implementing the system here.

Municipal Commissioner I P Gautam has set up a three-member committee to study the problems that arose in Delhi and analyse them to ensure that they do not recur in Ahmedabad. The committee comprises Deputy Municipal Commissioner D Thara, Prof H M Shivanand Swamy of CEPT University, Ahmedabad, and Shreya [Gadepalli] of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, New Delhi.

No deadline has been fixed for submitting the report, Gautam told reporters on Tuesday, adding that this would not cause any delay in implementation of the project. With no major design changes expected after the committee’s report, he said, the deadline of August 15, 2008, would not be affected.

The team will study two aspects — operational and design. Gautam was in New Delhi last week where he observed the problems with the system. He said the nature of the project was not exactly the same in Delhi and here, and therefore Ahmedabad should not face the same problem. “While there is no alternative route along BRT in Delhi, Ahmedabad offers an alternative route also and this would make it possible to keep the BRT route less congested,” he said.

All efforts are being made for timely launch of the project. On Tuesday, half a dozen firms submitted their bids to supply and operate buses on the corridor. They are Pavan Bindra, Mateshwari, Cargo Motors, Pankaj Gandhi and Orix Auto Infrastructure Service. The AMC requires as many as 200 buses for the project. But they would not be procured in one go, Gautam said.

“We will ask them to supply a certain number of buses after considering the viability of running the service… we will provide them with a depot for repairs and other purposes,” he said.

Gautam denied that the frequency of buses on the dedicated corridor would be impacted if the viability factor was given much importance.

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