Brick walled buildings, Monuments that reminds me of my history textbooks faded pictures, Elite malls, green & red buses, super fast Metro transport, a flare of fashion, politics in Jantar Mantar & the ever enlightening India gate… More than all the ‘Aaha’ factors of Delhi, Being a person who lived all her life in another City I definitely raised my eyebrows wide for the “Bus Rapid Transport System” (BRTS) in Delhi.
BRTS has been a controversial project as it is a cutting edge technology that would drastically improve the transport systems of India (So that at least the foreign directors can think of better scenes to portray India than the stereotypical traffic shots where Bus, Auto & Cycle stands perpendicular & create chaos in the main road). While on one side the BRTS makes us raise our collars & keeps the excitement of having a cycle lane high there are a lot of criticisms including the ones like “In BRTS opposed to normal traffic intersections, there are six different movements of vehicles along the arms of the intersection. The two extra movements are that of the buses on the BRT lane, which means that all commuters using the BRT or even passing through have to wait much longer. As the waiting time increases, the traffic tail lengthens much more than it normally would and there is a corresponding ripple effect on traffic,”
While agreeing & understanding the nuances involved in new technologies & change adaptation & management, one needs to resort to intensive research & debating.
But, A recent incident came as a shock; you would probably know by this time what I am trying to talk about. For those who are not- ”Around 2 am on 13th May 2012 someone brought bulldozers to BRT corridor and broke about 350m of bus lane median at sheikh sarai and chiragh delhi”. To read more on it
While the case on the disturbances caused due to the BRTS was filed, and the Court has ordered the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) to conduct further study on the same & the CRRI started the same by trial testing the same. While Col B B Sharan from the NGO called Nyayaboomi not only alleged the DIMTS authorities to destroy the BRTS barricade by claiming himself to be a CRRI member & that he had the court order when actually has the impudence of going ahead & mentioning on the website of Nyaya Bhoomi, the NGO that filed the writ in the first place, the Home Page states that they are carrying out a “crusade” against the BRT and have invited “citizens” to vote on their site. Since the time this was put up (probably about three weeks ago, there have been exactly 42 votes, 26 of them by car drivers and 6 by two-wheeler drivers and only 5 by bus commuters (the rest are others). As expected the cars and two wheelers want the BRT to be abandoned, while the bus commuters want it to stay! Such is the state of participatory democracy in this country!
It’s high time we all wake up to the realities of our lives… We have a lot to discuss debate, understand & fight for as tax payers of the country.
Hope to see you all in the discussion at the Delhi Forum office on 19th May 2012 (Saturday) at 2pm. Dunu Roy (Hazards Centre) & Rajendra Ravi Bhai (INSTITUTE FOR DEMOCRACY AND SUSTAINABILITY) would help us in bringing clarity to the debate on BRTS.
Make sure that you pass on the invite to your friends who are interested to understand the issues around BRTS, Researchers, Students who are working on Urban Development & renewal issues.
Kindly click the links to see a few photographs of the bulldozed BRTS lanes, Letter by Dunu Roy, News on BRT, Cabinet’ Decision on BRT and Summary of record of HCBS meeting.
The address of Delhi Forum office is :
Address: F- 10/12, (Basement), Malviya Nagar,
New Delhi INDIA – 110017
Phones: 011-26680883 / 26680914
Near Malviya Nagar Gol Chakkar