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No political will on BRTS,says man who got it done in Bogota

The administration in Mumbai lacks the will to execute the proposed Bus Rapid Transit System that has been stuck in the planning stage for the last four-and-a-half years

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai |
March 3, 2010 2:39:01 am

The administration in Mumbai lacks the will to execute the proposed Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) that has been stuck in the planning stage for the last four-and-a-half years,said Dario Hidalgo,the man instrumental in the implementation of much acclaimed BRTS in Bogota,Colombia.

“For BRTS we don’t need big roads; we need political will,” Hidalgo said at a seminar ‘BRTS for Mumbai — Why we must… and how we can’,organised by EMBARQ.

Hidalgo,who is with the World Resources Institute,a non-profit research group based in Washington,DC,said that the project has made technical progress since he visited Mumbai three years ago.

The BRTS was proposed to be implemented by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) as a pilot project on the two Express Highways. But four years later,MMRDA backed out and asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to take up the project as the roads do not belong to MMRDA.

According to Hidalgo,implementation of BRT system is a “learning process”. He added that there is no particular formula to implement the system and it is always locale specific. “BRTS is not fully understood,authorities would learn things by implementing it here.”

Meanwhile,Sudhir Badami,transport expert and member of the Steering Committee and Technical Advisory Committee set up by the MMRDA for BRTS wants MMRDA to implement the project as it has transport experts within its fold. “MMRDA as of now has competent manpower while BMC or BEST currently do not have competent and adequate number of planners to get BRTS on board,” said Badami.

Badami who is pushing for the project believes BRTS is an effective and quick solution to Mumbai’s traffic woes.

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