As the Delhi government grapples with alarming pollution levels in the capital and experiments with the odd-even car policy, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Saturday said the government is set to build two-tier elevated roads for a dedicated Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor and an expressway to decongest city roads.
“We are determined to bring in the BRT and make it a success here. But for that, we have to first build elevated roads. Our plan is to make double-elevated roads — one dedicated for the BRT and the second for an expressway. This corridor will be much cheaper than the Metro, which costs Rs 500 crore per km,” said Kejriwal while speaking to reporters at his residence Saturday.
“The idea is to decongest roads across the city and for that implementing the BRT is crucial,” he added.
Kejriwal said the expressway, slated to be on the third level from ground, will be a high-speed access controlled road that will cater to the ‘rich’. “The expressway will have high rates and will be meant for the rich. Whatever we earn from there will go towards funding the BRT corridor,” he added.
“During the implementation of the odd-even car policy, it will be wrong to expect people to instantly switch to public transport. They would think that the Metro will be crowded and they might not be comfortable boarding buses. Carpool is the only immediate solution for commuters as of now,” he added.
“Three of my cabinet ministers live right across my house and we have planned to carpool to the Secretariat for all 15 days of the drive,” said the CM.
Kejriwal said the government is also grappling with the monopoly of a single company in manufacturing buses. “The Tatas have a monopoly in manufacturing buses and the cost of these buses is exorbitant. So, to expand our options, we are going to invite tenders from companies across the globe. We hope that with competitive bidding, there will be cheaper options. There is an urgent need to bring in more buses but the process will take some time,” he explained.
With five days to go for the implementation of the odd-even car policy, the government is gearing up to improve its public transport options. Senior officials said though there is very little time to bring in drastic changes, the drive has prompted the government to start preparations on a war-footing.