After much dilly-dallying by the previous Delhi government of the Congress, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday started dismantling the controversial Bus Transit Transit (BRT) in south Delhi.
The Congress was reluctant to dismantle the BRT, despite protests by people, perhaps because it was the party that had built it – at a cost of nearly Rs 150 crores. The BRT was built in 2008, and it was the plan that buses would run in a lane that would not be required to stop at traffic signals.
In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said that for the first time people were happy at the sight of a road being demolished because it would ease plying of vehicles.
“Giving preference to public transport is the responsibility of the government, but doing a copy-paste job is not fine,” Sisodia tweeted, referring to Sheila Dixit’s previous Congress government that copied the idea from abroad.
The 6.20 km long BRT was built between Ambedkar Nagar and the Lajpat Nagar Metro Station.
The Delhi government said that the dismantling of the BRT would take less than two months and would be completed by 10 March.
The AAP government also announced that financial impact on the job. It said the tender amount was Rs 3.15 crore and the total estimated cost world be Rs 3.95 crore. This amount would include shifting of the bus queue shelters from their existing positions, in the middle of the road, to the two sides of the road; removal of the cement concrete kerb stone from the carriage way meant for car/bus lane; restoration of exiting bus queue shelter to main carriage way to central verge; repair of the damaged road; and provision of jersey barrier for central verge.
Delhi’ites, particularly those around the BRT corridor, never liked the BRT corridor. One of the biggest drawbacks of corridor was that the bus stand/shelter in the middle of the road.
Instead of making the journey easy for commuters, the BRT ended up creating huge traffic jams.
To construct the BRT, the road was widened along the stretch. The widened road is now expected to help in free flow of traffic, after the dismantling of the BRT.