BRTS & Vizag

With transport infrastructure in many Indian cities crumbling, every other metropolitan city seems to be fixed on railbased systems as panacea for traffic ills. Surprisingly, the state government has taken a different route, placing faith in Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) for Visakhapatnam, which had earlier come as a cropper in Delhi and Pune.In fact, the state government did not evince interest in BRTS after conducting a feasibility study and instead plumped for metro rail in Hyderabad. Questions are being asked as to what made the government hustle through BRTS for the port city. There are difficulties in widening of roads in Vizag, which is necessary for BRTS, experts point out. But more than the road width, Vizag’s predicament stems from the fact that private transportation takes 65 per cent share, while public transportation caters to a mere 20 per cent, which should be 55 per cent as per normal standards.A case in point: the registration of four-wheelers has gone up by 12 per cent and that of two-wheelers to 73 per cent and autorickshaws to 6 per cent in the last three years.Experts say that a growing city like Vizag needs a dedicated bus transport system and not a rise in the number of private vehicles. “For a population of 16 lakhs, only 600 RTC city buses are being run, making a mockery of the administration’s lopsided priorities,” a road transport expert asserts. “In America, planning for BRTS corridors in high density areas is given a serious thought before its implementation,” former joint director of Central Institute of Road Transport, Pune, Ch Hanumantha Rao says. However, planning starts during implementation stage in India where road transportation is treated as a construction project, he rues. “At a time when people are asking for a decent and hassle-free public transport, the rulers come out with illogical plans,” he says. Sources said only three lakh people use the public transport in Vizag whereas the demand is four-fold - 12 lakhs to be precise. According to transport department officials, there are 4.5 lakh registered vehicles in the city. “With the city population set to touch 17 lakhs in 2011 and 21 lakhs in 2021, the port city badly needs a viable transport system like BRTS,” expert in public transportation systems Prof S Raghavachary reasons.Asserting that the government should not neglect the regular public transport - RTC - at the cost of BRTS, he feels a separate wing for monitoring of BRTS corridors should be set up in coordination with the civic corporation. “For the successful implementation of BRTS, an urban transport management plan is a must which the authorities do not seem to lay much focus on,” president of Murthy Transport Consultants Dr Narasimha Murthy opines.Stating that BRTS would be viable option for the traffic woes in Vizag, GVMC commissioner Mukesh Kumar Meena says it is also cost-effective when compared to railbased systems. “For laying a road under BRTS it would cost Rs 10 crore, whereas in the case of mono rail and metro rail it costs Rs 200 crore and Rs 300 crore for each km,” he says. He says doubts about functioning of BRTS is understandable. “But once we explain the merits of the project, I am sure people would get convinced,” he says.“We have studied the Delhi BRTS and wish to build foot overbridges at every 750 metre stretch in the BRTS corridors. We have also made plans for parking lots to avoid traffic problems,” Meena says.The GVMC has got sanction for two corridors (42 km) out of the proposed eight corridors, which cater to 166 km length at an estimated cost of Rs 1,000 crore. The GVMC would construct two corridors — Pendurthy transit corridor (PTC) and Simhachalam transit corridor (STC) — at a cost of Rs 453 crore. It has finalised the tenders for both corridors.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

While the BRTS is a good move, why don't we focus on Tram Ways which can carry 100 to 300 people at a time and moves at an average speed of 50 KMPH.Trams would be totally isolated with other moving vehicles therefore they can maintain their own pace and reach destinations at predictable timelines. The drama of the ZigZag driving (which is the main cause of traffic jams) by RTC drivers would come to an end.The other troublesome mates are auto rickshaws, can also be checked by imposing a dedicated lane (Dedicated Auto Rickshaw Lane (DAL) or we should call ARTS (AutoRapid Ttransit System) for them. believe me there wont't be any traffic jams.