New Delhi, Jul 5: In a major relief to motorists on Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor between Ambedkar Nagar and Moolchand, the Delhi High Court today asked the city government to allow all vehicles to use the lane reserved for buses till its final order on a plea for opening BRT for all.
The court asked the Transport Department to continue with the arrangement made by the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) during the experimental trial run on BRT between May 12 and May 23 this year till it decides the issue after CRRI submits its final report on the trial run.
“Let it be re-opened. The transport department is directed to continue the same arrangement which was made during the trial run,” a division bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.
The bench passed the order after a CRRI official, who was present in the court, told it that the traffic was smoother during the trial run.
Delhi government counsel Zubeda Begum submitted to the court that it should wait till CRRI files its final report. The bench directed the research institution to expedite its work and file a final report by July 12.
The court’s direction came on the plea by Nyay Bhoomi, an NGO, for restoring the vehicle movement on the BRT corridor, which had been discontinued by the government after the CRRI’s trial run allowing all vehicles to ply on the lane reserved for buses.
The NGO sought modification of its earlier order in which the bench had directed CRRI to re-open the trial run. NGO Nyay Bhoomi had said the court should direct the Transport Department to restart the trial run rather than giving the task to the CRRI, which is a research institute.
Referring to the CRRI’s interim report, filed after the trial run, the NGO said CRRI in its report had also given its nod to continue with the trial run on BRT corridor.
The CRRI in its report had said that the experimental trial run has proved very effective, almost all vehicles crossed during one cycle, there was no traffic jam and commuters took a sigh of relief.
“The concept plan has received excellent response from the travelling public as well as appreciation by the print and electronic media,” said the CRRI report.
The NGO recalled that on May 30 the court had left it to the discretion of CRRI about the period up to which the trial run should be continued and the road research institute has clearly stated that it should to be continued.
“In spite of clear recommendation of CRRI, the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) Ltd has reverted to the previous system of movement from 24 May 2012. This has again caused great hardship and inconvenience to the public as before and the same is also not as per the spirit of the court order,” said the petitioner.
Seeking continuation of the arrangement, the NGO said that the productive time of the public is being wasted due to long commuting time on the corridor.
Following the bench’s earlier order, the CRRI had conducted the trial run for mixed traffic vehicular usage of the BRT corridor between Ambedkar Nagar and Moolchand.
The court was hearing petition by the NGO, filed through its founder B B Sharan, who pointed out to the court that there are over 73 lakh vehicles on Delhi roads in comparison to 32,000 buses.
He said the lane meant for buses remained free but the commuters on other lanes were stuck in traffic jam for hours.