Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has criticised the present Arvind Kejriwal government’s decision to scrap the Delhi Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) corridor, saying it failed to assess the basic problems involved with it.
“The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government scrapped the BRT corridor without assessing basic problems involved with it. Now, the government is planning to implement the BRT models of other cities such as Ahmedabad and Bangalore in Delhi in a modified way which might not work that effectively,” Dikshit told thestatesman.com on Thursday.
“The traffic situation in Delhi is 100 times more than small towns such as Ahmedabad and Bangalore. Did this government identify the real problem associated with the BRT in the national capital?” Dikshit asked.
The former CM, who had been strongly defending the project despite widespread opposition to it, admitted that her government could not make the corridor successful because of which the plan for 14 other similar projects was shelved.
“We admit that BRT did not work the way we had planned and thought and it was wrongly formulated.”
Meanwhile, Kejriwal on July 29 in a day-long-conference on the Delhi Transport Vision said, “We are not against the concept of BRT as it is successful in several other countries and in many cities in India.”
“BRT will be implemented in Delhi in a new and improved format in future,” Kejriwal added.
The BRT was launched in the year 2008 ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the city. However, ever since the opening of the first route the system has drawn flak from commuters and it became a controversial issue.
The project was criticised for lack of proper access to bus stops and the mode of operation was not effective.
Hence, the process to scrap the BRT was initiated by AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj during the party’s 49 days government in 2014. In June, Bhardwaj along with other South Delhi MLAs met Kejriwal and Gopal Rai, with the demand to scrap the BRT corridor.
A senior official from the state transport department confirmed that scrapping BRT would cost around Rs 50 crore to the Delhi government .
The AAP government had decided to scrap the BRT project from Moolchand area to Ambedkar Nagar on July21. “We are going to scrap the BRT corridor but we will introduce new BRT corridors in Delhi in an improved form in future. We have to make the transport system better in the next five years,” Kejriwal said.