A day before the court-mandated study of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor at Ambedkar Nagar is begun by the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI),the Delhi High Court made it clear on Friday that barriers or dividers on the 5.8-km long stretch could be removed to ensure a comprehensive trial run.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said,It is hereby made clear that the CRRI is at liberty to remove barriers or dividers and do anything in accordance with the laws to ensure the purpose of the study is achieved. The trial run can have different permutations and combinations of managing vehicular traffic and then analyse it accordingly.
The trial-cum-experimental run begins on Saturday. It will do away with the dedicated bus lane and allow vehicles to move freely till May 17. The trial is part of a six-week study being undertaken by the CRRI,as per court orders. Monitoring during the trial run will be done by CRRI,as well as observers from Transport department and DIMTS,which manages the BRT corridor.
The bench passed the directive on an application by petitioner B B Sharan,whose NGO Nyayabhoomi had pointed out issues pertaining to viability of the BRT corridor.
Moving an urgent plea,Sharan told the court that there was no plan to remove the barriers and dividers on the stretch during the trial. How can an all-inclusive test be done without removing these barriers? The vehicles will certainly be not able to change lanes because of these barriers. People travelling on the left cannot go right and will have to keep going up to the next signal. There must be a lane-changing area after every 300 metres, Sharan said.
He said when he questioned officials on this,they replied that since the court had not said anything on removing the barriers or changing any concrete construction,they were not sure if that would be allowed.
Taking Sharans plea on record,the court then asked the CRRI to go ahead with whatever is necessary for an exhaustive scientific study. The court will now take up the matter on May 16.
Earlier,rejecting the Delhi governments contention that public opinion on using the BRT corridor was positive,the bench held that a study on its feasibility and other aspects of traffic needed to be conducted afresh. The court refused to lend credence to an earlier report which stated that despite initial hiccups,the BRT corridor had received a thumbs-up from the public.
Are you (government) sure about the statement that the BRT corridor-users have a positive opinion about it? We think otherwise. We can ask for a fresh opinion poll if you have any doubt. The study being cited by you was carried out soon after the corridor was opened but we know the situation has changed since then, Justice Sikri had then observed,while directing them to call in an expert to carry out a comparative study.