The controversial Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor has become the nightmare and if media is to be believed, it has created major upheaval in day-to-day lives of a large number of Delhites living in the affected areas where the trial run is getting carried out. Citizens’ groups, traffic experts and MPs forgetting party lines are raising the embarrassing questions for the government implementing it and even demanding immediate scrapping of the project. Even Supreme Court lawyers have joined the chorus. Perhaps soon enough it may reach SC through some PIL.
Interestingly, the persons behind the corridor concept are Dinesh Mohan and Geetam Tiwari from IIT-Delhi’s Transport Research and Injury Prevention Programme. I heard them once on TV channel. However, I don’t hear any more if they are with the taskforce on the road to see that the fiasco is sorted out fast enough so that their capabilities don’t come under questions. The IIT’s team should have taken this as a challenge and deployed all its resources to see that the design is robust taking all the failure and effect modes in view. All the issues and possible problems would have been studied and taken care of before starting the trail. After all, the name of IIT is at stake. Many like me must be feeling bad about it. Why couldn’t the concept and expected actions from the commuters using the corridor have reached them through media and pamphlets? Why should the road users lack the information about BRT and be taken for granted? Why couldn’t the sufficient number of smart marshals be trained in advance? Why shouldn’t signaling and signage be put in place? Why can’t issue of stray cattle be sorted out?
If the concept, as claimed, were supported by bus manufacturing majors Volvo and Tatas, I would have expected them to put their experts with the implementing task force to provide all assistances.
As I feel the preparations before starting the trial was not done using suitable management tools, and accountability was not fixed. I have also found some blaming the government for not using its own talent.
I wonder why we Indians fail in getting all the projects such as BRT implemented. It happened with expressway connecting Gurgaon to Delhi. It has happened now with BRT. I am sure the authorities will take care of the lapses, the commuters will soon learn and get acclimatized, and the people will forget about the fiasco created.
But I opine, IIT experts would have been more visible and vocal, when its design had some difficulties in implementation or drawbacks perceived or real.