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Central panel for more BRT corridors in Delhi

venkaiah-naidu (1)

New Delhi: While the Delhi Government has scrapped the controversial BRT, a central panel has recommended that more such corridors should be set up and 6,000 buses procured for public transport in interventions worth Rs 20,000 crore for traffic decongestion in the national capital.

Among the slew of measures favoured by the high-powered committee set up by Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu include introduction of congestion tax, effective parking price besides boost to walking, cycling infrastructure and public transport to discourage use of private vehicles. The inter-ministerial committee on ‘Decongestion of Traffic in Delhi’, headed by Urban Development Ministry Secretary Rajiv Gauba, has also called for better use of existing road space and traffic management instead of constructing more flyovers in the city.

The committee was set in 2014 following media reports on the havoc being caused by traffic congestion in the national capital. It has representatives from 19 different ministries, Delhi Police, among others. “The committee has recommended various measures including interventions worth Rs 20,000 crore through BRTS, walking and cycling infrastructure,” an official release today said.

Expressing concern over 18 different Central and Delhi government departments and agencies handling different aspects of transportation in the city, the committee, in its 126-page report also sought Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority for better coordination, quick decision making and execution. The committee recommended that the explosive growth in automobile population needs to be checked quickly by adopting a ‘carrot and stick’ policy of enabling increased use of public and non-motorised transport and disincentivising use of private vehicles through deterrent parking pricing and congestion tax.

The committee called for immediate procurement of 2,000 buses and another 4,000 in the next phase besides development of BRTS corridors on high density routes; provision of more crossings for pedestrians and cyclists, at least at every 250 metres; and signal free corridors to be avoided as they invite more private vehicles on to roads. It also called for a paradigm shift in transport planning and policy interventions and expressed the need for moving people more efficiently through effective public transport system than cars. The panel noted that 21 per cent of the city’s area was already under roads with limited scope for road network expansion.

As 60 per cent of passenger trips are below 4 km distances and 80 per cent below 6 km lengths which are ideal for non-motorised transport, the committee strongly recommended development of necessary infrastructure for promoting walking and cycling in the national capital.

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