The Delhi High Court has adjourned a hearing in to the BRT corridor matter till 23 July. The court is expected to decide the fate of the four-year-old corridor introduced as a pilot project to help streamline traffic in Delhi.
A state government counsel said that it needed time to study a Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) report that was submitted to the court on Monday. The report punctured the government claim that the BRT was serving a large number of bus commuters, noting that the government had blatantly exaggerated figures on the number of bus commuters in the city.
The report also countered the Delhi government’s claim that the corridor has reduced the number of road accidents in the city. It was found that there was 40 percent increase in the number of road accidents, and a 48 percent increase in the number of deaths due to road accidents.
The study added that the corridor has slowed down the speed of both buses and private vehicles. A comparison with Ahmedabad BRT revealed that the travel time during evening hours was very high on the Delhi BRT. And as for the speed of buses, the study noted, “On Ahmedabad BRT, speed of buses was between 22 and 25 kmph, while that on Delhi BRT, it was 13-15 kmph.” In both the cases, buses comprised 3 per cent of total traffic.
However the state government is seemingly in no mood to budge. It has been maintaining that it will introduce more BRT corridors in the national capital, and has indicated that it will move the apex court if the High Court rules against the implementation of the project.
The 5.8km BRT stretch between Moolchand and Ambedkar Nagar, which became operational in 2004, has become a nightmare for commuters in South Delhi. Rather than streamlining traffic, it has added to the woes of commuters.
Traffic in the corridor is painfully slow and the waiting time at each signal cycle ranges is 10-20 minutes.