Delhi budget: Focus on new buses but BRT given a miss

July 23, 2014


NEW DELHI: With an allocation of Rs 3,702 crore, the transport sector has got the major part of the outlay in this year’s budget. Yet, the budget doesn’t make any new announcements, sticking to the old ones about renovation of inter-state bus terminals, more DTC buses, a larger cluster bus fleet and construction of the corridor over the Barapullah Nullah.This year’s budget allocation—less than last year’s Rs 3,876 crore—again highlights the change in the government’s priorities. While bus acquisition finds mention, there’s no talk of bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor. Fare integration with the Delhi Metro, with the introduction of the automated fare collection system, as well as renovation of the existing facilities at the ISBTs in Sarai Kale Khan and Anand Vihar are among other highlights.

The lieutenant governor has earmarked funds for the acquisition of 400 new cluster buses, to bring the fleet up to 1,600 this financial year. This is besides the 1,380 buses that will be bought for the DTC fleet. The budget also promises that DTC’s 1,300 old standard buses will be replaced this year. There is a requirement of 11,000 buses in Delhi and, as per an agreement between DTC and DIMTS, both are mandated to run 5,500 buses each in the city. While DTC operates around 5,000 buses, DIMTS has only 1,157 cluster buses. The budget also mentions renovation of the zonal transport offices.

Funds have also been set aside for the conversion of single-carriageway flyovers into dual carriageways in the city “due to rapid increase in volume of road traffic”. Construction of some of the selected flyovers will be taken up on priority, the budget adds.

The ongoing phase-II of the elevated Barapullah corridor is also mentioned in the budget. “This elevated corridor will be extended from Sarai Kale Khan to Mayur VIhar under phase-III,” it says.


BMC plans BRTS on coastal road

July 15, 2014

Written by Alison Saldanha |


Citizens can still benefit from the scheme which continues till July 31.

Citizens can still benefit from the scheme which continues till July 31.


The Rs 9,000-crore road project, proposed to run from Nariman Point to Kandivali, has been cleared by CM and BMC.

A Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) is likely to become one of the key components of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s proposed Coastal Road project as the civic administration prepares its detailed project report (DPR) to be submitted soon to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for deliberation.

The Rs 9,000-crore road, proposed to run from Nariman Point to Kandivali, has been cleared by the BMC and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan as a critical solution for decongesting traffic to and from the island city and western suburbs. According to additional municipal commissioner S V R Srinivas, who is in charge of the BMC’s civic roads department, the corporation has included this suggestion in the techno-feasibility DPR report, which is currently in the final stages of completion.

“We are just finalising the DPR and apart from what was initially considered, we now want to include a BRTS in the project. This is basically to encourage public transport which, at last count, had gone down by 12 per cent in its share of vehicular traffic on Mumbai’s roads. This is an alarming situation as public transport is crucial to reducing traffic congestion. We would like to encourage a project model that would be accessible to all,” Srinivas said.

The planned BRTS would have two lanes, one next to each curbside of the proposed eight-lane 35.6-km Coastal Road. “At the T-junctions of the road, there will be interchanges of bus services travelling to different parts. We are also considering express bus services connecting commuters directly from Nariman Point to Kandivali,” Srinivas said.

The civic body will hold meetings with the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply Transport undertaking (BEST) on the proposal soon after the DPR is completed. The corporation hopes that emphasising on the public utility of the project and increasing its accessibility to people will improve its chances of acquiring a green clearance sooner.

Mumbai’s BRTS plan has been stuck since the concept was introduced in 2008. The Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) had planned the BRTS between Bandra and Dahisar on the Western Express Highway and between Sion and Mulund checkpost on the Eastern Express Highway. BEST was to carry the project forward. However, complaints regarding the Delhi and Pune BRTS prompted the MMRDA to put the project on hold.


Funds paucity puts BRTS project in a limbo

July 8, 2014


 JAIPUR: The Central government has refused to fund the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) project, phase- 4 that was proposed to connect Ajmer Road and airport after extending the existing corridor. Also, funds sought for constructing sewerage and sewerage treatment plant (STP) under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) have not been sanctioned.
Sources in the department said, “There is not a complete refusal, the Centre has directed to send the revised detailed project report (DPR) of the projects. We will incorporate the details sought by the Centre. The sanctioning has been put on hold till that time.”In the previous government’s regime, considering the airport as an important point, the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) had decided to connect the BRTS route to Sanganer airport via B2 bypass. “The project was extended from Government Hostel to Amrit Nagar (New Sanganer Road) route to connect to the airport. The route is 13 km long and extension of 7km more will connect it with the Airport. The estimated cost of project was Rs 174 crore.”

Apart from this, the replacement work of the old and choked sewerage lines will also be halted. Sources claimed, “The sewerage line in the city area is over 40 years old and is in urgent need of repair or replacement. The project was not taken up due to paucity of funds.”

According to officials, the DPR to upgrade the sewerage lines in 12 cities, including Jaipur, was sent to the Central government. A senior official said, “The estimated population in the Walled City area is approximately 6 lakh, and the plan has been drawn accordingly. Pipelines of 200 mm width will be laid to curb the problem of overflowing. The project cost was nearly Rs 413 crore and we were expecting to receive half the amount under the scheme.”

A senior JMC official said, “The project is pending for over four years now. During this time, the project cost has also gone up by at least Rs 100 crore. Earlier, it was estimated at Rs 300 crore and a proposal was also sent to the state government for financial assistance. The state government later sent it to the Centre seeking funds under the JNNURM.”


Four-laning project hits a roadblock

November 5, 2013


DHARWAD: Had everything gone according to the plan, Hubli-Dharwad should have had theBus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) in place by the end of 2014. But the pace of work suddenly slowed down causing inconvenience to the people travelling between Dharwad and Hubli.The demand for converting the 22 km between Dharwad and Hubli into a four-lane stretch to ease traffic congestion and to improve connectivity was long pending and the BJP government finally swung into action in 2011. Thirty acres of land was acquired for widening of the road.

The government had already sanctioned Rs 177 crore for converting the 10.5 km stretch between Alur Venkatrao Circle in Dharwad and Hosur Cross in Hubli into a four-lane concrete road. The 13.5 km stretch between Vidyagiri to Unkal Cross was to be 55m wide while from Vidyagiri to Alur Venkatrao Circle and Unkal Ccross to Hosur Cross the width was to be 35m. The work was assigned to GVR group of Andhra Pradesh.

The preliminary work of cutting the trees on either side was completed earnestly. Even as the work had begun, the idea of introducing Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) was mooted. The idea was to convert the road for BRTS and provide the two central lanes for BRTS while the two lanes on either side were to be for use by other vehicles.

When the demand came for upgrading the road into a six-lane stretch, more land was needed to make the road a six-lane. A team of experts from CEPT University of Ahmedabad prepared a plan for the BRTS between City Bus Terminus (CBT) in Hubli and CBT Dharwad covering a distance of 22.2km. The plan envisaged that the RTS track would have 39 stops, three underpasses, three subways for pedestrians and an overbridge. The RTS was to enable nearly 70% of commuters reach the destination fast and also reduce pollution. The World Bank-funded BRTS was to be completed in three years from 2011. BRTS involves providing two lanes exclusively for movement of buses, construction of depots, bus bays, subways, additional hi-tech buses and comprehensive ticketing system among others which would cost Rs 450 crore.

Principal secretary to the department of surface transport V Manjula at a meeting in 2011 said that the World Bank had already sanctioned Rs 202 crore and the remaining amount should be contributed by the Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation, NWKRTC and Hubli-Dharwad Urban Development Authority.

Considering the financial constraint and delay involved in finishing the preliminary work, the authorities had decided to go ahead first with the four-lane project.

The work which had started earnestly in 2011 has slowed down considerably. The passengers and the residents complained that people residing on either side of the road were facing trouble as the works have been stopped. Incomplete work has created pollution by generating dust. Commuting between Hubli and Dharwad has turned cumbersome.


* The 22 km stretch between Dharwad and Hubli was taken up for conversion into four-lane and the work of widening commenced in 2010 by Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL).

* 30 acres of land acquired for the purpose

* Trees along the road on either side felled to facilitate road-widening

* When this process was on, the idea of introducing Bus Rapid Transit System mooted

* BRTS needed acquisition of more land as there were plans to make the road a six-lane stretch

* Since the process of land acquisition was time-consuming, it was decided that the work of converting the road into four-lane stretch be finished first

Nation’s longest bus corridor opened, named after Vajpayee

October 18, 2013



BHOPAL: India’s longest Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) corridor was inaugurated in Bhopal on Friday and named after BJP patriarch, Atal Bihari Vajpayee Marg. The 24-km corridor was opened by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Union urban development minister Kamal Nath, who was expected to launch the first Mybus, did not turn up.Bhopal Mayor Krishna Gaur sought naming of the corridor after Vajpayee in her inaugural speech. Minutes later, Chouhan made the announcement.

The lone Congress MLA in Bhopal, Arif Aqueel, boycotted the function as the party wanted the corridor named after former President, Shankar Dayal Sharma, who was born in Bhopal. After opening the BRTS, Chouhan went on an inauguration spree to beat the model code deadline. He launched projects of Rs 400 crore, which included a multilevel parking at Ibrahimpura, the Bhopal-Indore Volvo bus service, MyBus depot at Sant Hirdaram Nagar.

Speaking at the occasion, Chouhan blasted the Centre for inflation even as his government was providing “low-cost public transport”.

He also elaborated on the developmental works done by BJP government. “When Congress was in power, only Rs 5 crore would be earmarked for roads. Now more than Rs 2000 crore have been spent on road development,” he said.

He also promised to develop colonies for migrant rural workers to regularise old illegal colonies. The CM also granted Rs 15 crore to BMC for maintenance and functioning of BRTS corridor. Mayor-in-council member K M Soni said the zonal plan for AIIMS, New Market and Bairagarh was in the offing. “Bairagarh zonal plan would be unveiled next year,” he said.

TR-3 was among the buses unveiled on Friday which would cover the entire BRTS corridor from Misrod to Bairagarh. 26 AC buses were added to the existing fleet of low-floor buses bringing the total number to 225 buses operated along various routes in the city.

The 24-km long corridor would take around an hour in the dedicated corridor and the fare would be Rs 26, Soni said.

BRTS better than Metro Rail: Ex-Mayor of Bogota

July 29, 2013


BUSES A BETTER BET: The BRT Corridor at Sheikh Sarai Area in New Delhi. The former Mayor of Bogots says this is a better option than Metro rail. File photo

(The HinduBUSES A BETTER BET: The BRT Corridor at Sheikh Sarai Area in New Delhi. The former Mayor of Bogots says this is a better option than Metro rail. File photo)


Though work on the Metro Rail project has already commenced in the city, former Mayor of Bogota, Enrique Penalosa, said that a Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) could cater to larger number of passengers.

Speaking at an interactive session on people-centric urban transport held at the Anna University here on Friday, Mr. Penalosa said that most metro rail projects were highly expensive and only sought to cater to sections of the public who patronised private transport. They were not mass transport systems. Batting for the Bus Rapid Transit System and Dedicated Bus Lane Systems, he said such schemes could ensure speedier transit and reduce congestion on city roads as it could replace cars and two-wheelers.

He stressed that building high-speed transport corridors and highways had not solved the traffic problem of any city. “In cities such as Boston, highways built at the cost of several billions of dollars, are being demolished now as residents find that they create more traffic jams and reduce road space for other purposes.”

As President of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), an international organisation promoting environment-friendly transportation, Mr. Penalosa is advocating governments of developing countries to introduce BRTS and popularising non-motorised forms of transport such as cycling for affordable and sustainable transportation in cities. “Transportation policy must address how to reduce private vehicle use in any city,” he said.

Vikram Kapur, member secretary of the Chennai Metropolitan Transport Authority, made a presentation on the transport projects lined up for the city, in which he referred to the upcoming Metro Rail project as the future lifeline of the city. He spoke of developing radial transportation corridors in the city as the future course of action to improve transportation in the city.

In a presentation, Shreya Gaddepalli of ITDP showed how the BRTS system had already gained popularity in Ahmedabad.


Civic bodies asked to make buses safer, more comfortable

May 29, 2013

Manish Umbrajkar, TNN | 


PUNE: New buses that will be introduced on city roads will be safer, more comfortable for both passengers and drivers, and will be equipped with in-built ITS technology, if the municipal corporations of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad act on the recommendations of the union ministry of urban development. The ministry has recommended these features to 61 municipal corporations that come under JNNURM.

PMPML, the city public bus transport company has already procured 650 buses under JNNURM funding. However, officials say it plans to make a fresh proposal to procure additional buses that would conform with the new specifications.

Officials of the Pune-based Central Institute of Road Transport(CIRT), which was one of the institutions that made suggestions on urban bus specifications, said they took into account requirements of urban commuters while making them. Specifications have also been listed for Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) buses.

According to the report on urban bus specifications, buses plying within the city should also be made more attractive so as to encourage more people to use them. They should also be made accessible to people with physical, sensory and cognitive impairments, it states.

Prashant Kakade, coordinator of the management development centre and a specialist in traffic engineering solutions at CIRT says urban public transport is different from state transport and that make these urban bus specifications significant. In cities, a large number of people, including senior citizens, children, women and even those with physical impairments use public transport. “All these factors have been taken into account while drafting the specifications. For example, the width of the gangway is wider in urban bus specifications because the number of standing passengers is quite high,” he said. Another factor taken into consideration is the insistence on low floor buses to help senior citizens board the bus. For BRTS buses, level boarding facilities have been recommended.

The report lists specifications for various types of buses based on the city’s requirements. Besides specifications for standard size normal and BRTS buses, mini and midi buses, there are specifications for standard size premium segment, and intelligent transport systems. Kakade said that the specifications are compulsory for JNNURM buses, as there will be a third party inspection when the buses are delivered to the cities by suppliers. The third party inspection will be done by institutions such as CIRT and Automotive Research Association of India, he said.

The cost of travel in these buses would be more than in normal buses, but their performance would be better in terms of fuel efficiency and would be safer, more comfortable for passengers and drivers. Buses will be able to move at improved speed, while noise levels in the buses will be less, Kakade said. Instead of using metal which adds to the dead weight of the buses and affects speed, the buses would be made of fibre, he added.

Incidentally, PMPML has planned to install intelligent transport system requirements in the 650 BRTS buses it has already procured under JNNURM. The undertaking has recently called for offers from private contractors for installation of the ITS requirements. For BRTS operations, the buses have level boarding facility, officials said.

The high powered expert committee on urban infrastructure and the ministry of urban development has estimated that cities in India need about 1.5 lakh buses that would cost approximately Rs 60,000 crores in the next 20 years. The report further cites that only 20 of 85 cities with over 5 lakh population (in 2009) offered an organised city bus service. The recommendations of the working group on urban transport for 12th five year plan includes introduction of organized public transport in all two lakh plus population cities and state capitals, as one of its goals. The report asserts that city bus services have been the major mode of public transport, and this will continue.


Intelligent traffic system for BRTS soon

May 29, 2013


AHMEDABAD: After facing the wrath of pedestrians and car owners during peak hours along the BRTS corridor, theAhmedabad Janmarg Limited (AJL) has stepped up to install intelligent traffic management systems across all major BRTS junctions.

The traffic management system will first gauge the traffic density in each of the lanes and then give way to lanes that have the maximum vehicle density. The traffic management system will also monitor vehicle density across various arterial routes to ensure steady flow of traffic. The present traffic junctions along the BRTS corridor are either manned or are controlled with traffic lights that have timers installed in them.

The present intelligent system will operate lights as per vehicle density. Along with this system, the Japanese government funded traffic information system is also being installed. The Japanese project is worth Rs 11 crore and will see installation of information boards that will suggest vehicle owners route diversions at the junction, via large LED display boards and also on their smart phones, in case there is traffic ahead on a particular route.