Monday, June 28, 2010

Bus Rapid Transit proposal gathers dust

Bus Rapid Transit proposal gathers dust
S Praveen Dhaneshkar , June 27,Bangalore:

Apathy by the various stakeholders has put on the backburner a feasible and cost-effective urban transport project, the ambitious Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plan proposed on a pilot basis from Hebbal to Central Silk Board (30 km).

The proposal had envisaged construction of BRT at a cost of Rs 15 crore/km. The pilot corridor requires movement of high-speed, low-floor buses on signal free corridors that are physically separated from other road lanes, to be effective.
First mooted a decade ago, the BRT also found mention in the Comprehensive Traffic and Transportation Project (CTTP) that had mooted implementation of the corridor across a length of 291.50 km on 14 corridors, at an approximate cost of Rs 3,498 crore in two phases.

Not feasible
“The project was first proposed way back in 2000 for implementation from Jayanagar to Shivajinagar. But, in those days, the rolling stock (buses) required for a BRT were not being manufactured in the country and had to be imported from Volvo in Sweden. Import duty being sky-high then, the project funding was not feasible and did not take shape,” says P K Garg, Director (Projects), BMTC.

Garg says the State-run Corporation is always ready to supply buses for its implementation, provided Bangalore Development Authority is also keen to have the exclusive corridor in place for it (BRT) to take off. The preparation of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) was entrusted with Rail India Technical and Economic Society (RITES) and Infrastructure Development Corporation (Karnataka) Limited or iDECK, with the former responsible for preparing the technical content and the latter, the financing plan. RITES submitted the final DPR to BDA in December 2009, after which the DPR was approved, early 2010.

Delegation not keen
A source in BDA said the BRT proposal was presented to Indo-Japanese working group delegation in New Delhi last week, for possible implementation on a public-private-partnership (PPP) basis.

“The delegation was not keen to take up the BRT proposal, but instead expressed interest in the PRR (Peripheral Ring Road) proposal. The plan could even now see the light of the day, if the cost factor is resolved. BDA by itself cannot implement and bear the entire project funding. The pilot project would cost Rs 550 crore for a distance of 30 km. If financial concurrence is decided upon, BDA is ready to have the BRT revived. We are hoping to have global tenders called for in July, to have it implemented,” said the source.
DH News Service


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