BHUBANESWAR:With the Central Government unwilling to release funds for the proposed Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) in the Capital, uncertainty looms large over the fate of the much-hyped urban transport project.
The Union Ministry of Urban Development had sanctioned around Rs 470 crore for the BRTS project under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM) in 2013. However, after the NDA Government came to power, the project has been put on the back burner, sources said.
The project will now be undertaken with funding from State Government. “As the Centre has been indifferent towards the project, we have decided to carry on with BRTS on our own,” a senior official of the Urban Development Department said.
While the initial draft finalised in 2013 for BRTS had specified around 35 km of dedicated lanes for the service, the State is now proposing to construct a 12 km long BRTS lane in the first phase at an estimated cost of Rs 150 crore.
Sources said Development Commissioner UN Behera will convene a meeting where senior officials of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), Police Commissionerate of the Twin City, Works Department and other nodal agencies would discuss the modalities of the BRTS project.
The route proposed for pilot phase of the project will originate from Sishu Bhavan square to Nandankanan via Vani Vihar, Acharya Vihar, Sainik School square and Kalinga Hospital square.
On the existing roads, two lanes would be designed for BRTS buses to ensure faster, safer and comfortable transport for public. This lane would bisect the road equally and built on the area where the road divider currently exists. The BRTS lane would be barricaded on either sides to prevent entry of other vehicles.
“As the city has wide roads, BRTS is an economic and feasible option which would provide high quality and cost effective urban transport. Besides, the infrastructure expenses for BRTS project are low and time required to build it is less as compared to metro or monorail,” the official added.
With dedicated corridors and low-floor high capacity vehicles to transport people, the project is perceived to be a solution to reduce traffic congestion in the city.
The BRTS architecture would include advance signal systems, surveillance with CCTV cameras, traffic signal prioritisation and automatic fare collection. These include traffic signal co-ordination with adaptive signal control and a centralised traffic control centre.
Ahmedabad-based Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) was engaged for preparation of a detailed project report (DPR) which has been approved by the State Government. Modalities of the project, feasibility study and bidding process would be finalised at the meeting, sources said.