Updated: October 3, 2019 11:39:10 am
In a big relief to public bus commuters in Bengaluru, the Karnataka government has planned to introduce dedicated bus lanes in key areas of the city.
Top officials from the local civic body, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Department of Urban Land Transport (DULT), Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), and Bengaluru City Traffic Police (BTP) inspected some roads in the city identified for the project.
In the initial phase, an 18.5-kilometre road network connecting MG Road (beginning from Trinity Circle) to Vellara Junction via KR Puram and Central Silk Board will have bus lanes. According to BBMP officials, the first 10 kilometres of the proposed project will be ready by November 1 while the rest will be up by the beginning of December this year.
According to government officials, the route identified for the same covers 12 high-density corridors including areas on Outer Ring Road, Hosur Road, Bannerghatta Road, Old Madras Road, Old Airport Road, West of Chord Road, Magadi Road, and Ballari Road, among others.
According to Karnataka deputy chief minister CN Ashwathnarayan, the move is aimed at encouraging public transport among the growing population of the city in a bid to decongest traffic in Bengaluru. “With a dedicated bus lane made functional via key corridors of the city, more buses will be in service to ferry commuters easily, in lesser travel time. The feasibility of the project will be checked first by implementing it on a pilot basis, to begin with,” he said.
After road inspection, BBMP Commissioner BH Anil Kumar expressed his optimism for the project’s success on Twitter. Announcing that the deadline for the first phase of the same has been decided as November 1, he wrote, “BBMP has identified 30 kms of dedicated bus lane in high-density traffic corridor. A route inspection was held today along BMTC, Bescom ,DULT , Bengaluru Traffic Police(East) #BBMP Spl comm Projects & @BBMPSWMSplComm. Actionables were noted & fixed Nov 1 as deadline. #BBMPCOMM.”
BBMP has identified 30 kms of dedicated bus lane in high-density traffic corridor. A route inspection was held today along BMTC, Bescom ,DULT , Bengaluru Traffic Police(East) #BBMP Spl comm Projects & @BBMPSWMSplComm . Actionables were noted & fixed Nov 1 as deadline. #BBMPCOMM pic.twitter.com/r8Zn9k3K2f
— B.H.Anil Kumar,IAS (@BBMPCOMM) September 29, 2019
At the same time, officials have added that the lane will be 3.5 metres wide and it will be ensured that these dedicated lanes would not result in the reduction of the space available for private vehicles at busy roads.
“Roads have been widened across these routes to avoid further congestion due to these lines,” a DULT official said.
A dedicated bus lane has been proposed by many since over a decade as one among many other solutions to Bengaluru’s infamous traffic woes.
The Bangalore Bus Prayaanikara Vedike, a community forum for bus commuters of Bengaluru, have voiced their suggestion at multiple levels for exclusive bus lanes. “Public transport/buses should also have exclusive lanes and right of way, for users to prefer buses, Vinay Sreenivasa, a member of the forum told indianexpress.com.
On Wednesday, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and Transport minister Laxman Savadi inspected the Outer Ring Road (ORR) between Central Silk Board junction and KR Puram finalise the proposal for exclusive bus lanes in the city.
The minister after a trip on the route on a BMTC Volvo bus told Indianexpress.com that dedicated bus lanes would, in many ways, contribute in decongesting traffic in Bengaluru.
“I have BBMP officials to build bus shelters and to provide necessary infrastrcuture to enusre passengers have a smooth commute via the proposed dedicated bus lanes. The Bengaluru City Traffic Police (BTP) will look into the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act to decide on violation cases that will be charged on other private vehicles entering the bus priority lane,” he said.
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Meanwhile, as of July 2019, over 82.53 lakh vehicles have been registered in Bengaluru, according to the Karnataka transport department. While 57.3 lakh of these are two-wheelers, 15.72 lakh are four-wheelers that zip across the city.
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