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Scrapping BRT corridor a regressive step: CSE

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Expressing shock at the Delhi government's decision to scrap the controversial Bus Rapid Transit corridor in south Delhi, a green body today termed it as a "regressive" step which would turn the clock back on pollution control efforts in the city.

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said that the decision of the Delhi government to give in to the "car lobby" and dismantle the bus corridor to take road space back from buses is "regrettable".

"This is a regressive step and gives a wrong signal when the city is gasping for breath and the lungs of every third child is impaired," said Anumita Roy Chowdhury, CSE's Executive Director.

Chowdhury said CSE was concerned that in this pollution and climate-challenged world, the Delhi government had earned the "dubious" distinction of working against the solution for cleaner air and mobility strategies for the larger public good.

"This regressive decision has been pushed through even after the latest Economic Survey of Delhi has exposed a drop in bus transport ridership in Delhi. With each bus trip lost to personal vehicles, pollution and health costs will worsen.

"RITES forecasts that even after the full completion of the Metro rail project, Metro ridership will still be at 20 per cent of all trips in 2021. The bulk of the public transport services will have to be bus-based and BRT will help meet the bulk of public transport ridership," she added.

Bowing to public pressure, AAP government yesterday decided to scrap the controversial Bus Rapid Transit corridor in south Delhi built by the previous Sheila Dikshit dispensation at around Rs 150 crore to encourage public transport.

The decision to dismantle the 14.5 km-long corridor between Ambedkar Nagar and Delhi Gate was taken at a Cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

CSE also said that the scrapping of the corridor went against the basic principles of the National Urban Transport Policy which advises planning of roads for people, not vehicles.

"Dedicated bus lane meant for the 'aam admi' is being taken away with no further plans to create bus corridor network when on all neighbourhood roads and sub arterials one lane from the carriage way along with footpaths are being muscled away for dedicated use of car parking for free," it said.

First Published: Wed, July 22 2015. 14:42 IST
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