BRTS runs into another hurdle

Mar 07, 2014, 06:05 IST | Dheeraj Bengrut

Many infrastructural modifications and additions recommended by IIT officials have not been carried out on Nagar Road-Alandi Road, despite PMC expressly asking PMPML to comply

The 16-km-long Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) corridor on Nagar Road-Alandi Road has suffered a further setback. On February 26, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) sent a letter to Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML), stating that the latter should immediately start service on this route and necessary upgrade and changes should be made on this corridor according to the recent audit done by IIT Bombay. Surprisingly, when mid-day checked the entire stretch, many infrastructural modifications and additions recommended by IIT officials have not been carried out.

Digging deep: The road on the BRTS corridor on Alandi Road has been excavated and work is still going on. Pic/Mohan Patil

In all, there are 22 bus stations on this 16-km section (14 on Nagar Road and 8 on Alandi Road), and in December 2013, owing to repeated demands from commuters, a safety audit was carried out by PMC for this new corridor. The civic body has identified four potential BRTS routes of 68 km — Warje to Kharadi (22 km), Kothrud depot to Vishrantwadi (17 km), Dhayari to Hadapsar Gadital (17 km) and Kalewadi Phata to Katraj (17.5 km). In its first phase, which started in September 2012, work began on three routes on Alandi Road and Nagar Road. The approximate budget for this venture is around Rs 27 crore.

Speaking to mid-day, PMC superintending engineer (roads) Namdev Barapatre said, “We have done almost all the changes and additions according to the suggestions in the road safety audit. Some things have to be done just before the bus service starts, as most of the area on this route is covered by slums and robberies are taking place at bus stations. Automatic doors installed are worth Rs 3.5 lakh each. People take away anything they can lay their hands on, like benches, boards, etc. We cannot afford to continuously repair and replace articles when damaged or robbed by locals.”

PMPML joint managing director Praveen Ashitkar said, “Our officials will inspect whether work on this BRTS route is complete or not. I cannot say anything further at this moment. Also, the model code of conduct has come into effect, so we will start our service without any formal intimation or inauguration programme.”

>> There are 22 bus stations on this 16-km section
>> Safety audit was carried out by PMC in December 2013
>> Assessment done after repeated demand from commuters

What’s missing

>> Many of the bus stations do not have sensors installed, which are essential for functioning of automatic doors. Around 400 buses too are without sensors.

>> To control the speed of buses, IIT officials have suggested in their report that there should be tableland speed breakers before bus stations. Not a single bus station on this route has this provision.

>> There are no dedicated closed lanes for BRTS buses at some of the bus stations on the route, like Vishrantwadi Chowk, Ramwadi Jakat Naka, etc.

>> Safety rollers have not been instituted at many of the stations, essential for preventing damage to the needed for BRTS route to work in shifts are yet to be drafted and also security guards for night duty have not been appointed at the bus stations

Rs 27cr  The approximate budget for the first phase of this venture

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