Sunday, August 10, 2008

Surviving Delhi Bus Rapid Transit Corridor III

Want to irritate me? You can show me the Delhi government ad on television that lists the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor project as one of its achievements.

Just because it's disappeared from the front pages of newspapers doesn't mean commuters are now in some sort of heaven. They are just resigned to the fact that there's no getting away with the bottlenecks at Chirag Dilli and Archana crossings.

The time taken is the same but the hot May sun is no longer beating down on motorcyclists and cars.

When you are waiting in the BRT line in August, the rain splashes down, dribbling down the car's windscreen and you can sit back and relax, armed with the knowledge that the car in front won't move another inch anytime soon.

Yes, the rain gods had pity on Delhi's hapless BRT commuters -- making that interminable wait at least tolerable.

But that doesn't make the corridor project a success. Hindustan Times claims people are adjusting to BRT, that Delhi has learnt to live with it. They should have asked me, I guess. Or anybody who goes through the BRT corridor day after day, month after month.

What worries me is this Times of India article, which says the Delhi government is planning more BRT stretches. It seems Sheila Dikshit hasn't learnt her lesson yet. Does she really want to lose the next election?

If only she had spent a few extra crores and extended the Delhi Metro till Khanpur. People would have been singing her praises. Alas! Each commuter on the corridor has only curses to offer.

My colleagues don't believe me. They feel I use BRT as an excuse.

"How bad could it be?" they ask.

"Travel down the corridor and you will see," I reply.

Unfortunately, they don't live anywhere near the BRT. And they will never experience the torture. After all, the rains will go away soon, the sun will come out and the commuters will sweat again -- and their murmurs would grow louder and louder still.

ALSO READ
Surviving Delhi's Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Part I
Surviving Delhi's Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Part II

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