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Metro, not NimBus (BPS) , needed for ORR

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The govt along with various organizations like DULT is gearing up for the launch of  NimBus or the Bus Priority System(BPS) planned on the ORR. This, on the outset, seems a sane decision, probably a little late in coming though.. This is because the weird designs of flyovers, with separated elevated sections, btw Silkboard and KR puram ,were done originally to accommodate a BRT system. But this never saw the light of day because the govt decided to have metro on ORR instead and shifted the BRT pilot to Hubli-Dharwad and as they say, rest is history.

This BPS will provide a much-needed PT option to the ORR section, which is a welcome move. But thinking a little more about this, brings up various questions about its need and its efficacy. The tenders for the ORR metro is due anytime within the next 5-10 days. And ideally 6 months from then on, hoping that everything goes well, the metro work will start on ground. A positive thing that works in favor of the metro works is that the interchange stations at both Silkboard and KR puram are already in various stages

 of construction. Hence that is 2 stations work which has already started.

Coming to the construction on the ORR section, as we have seen else where, it is bound to take away two lanes of the road at grade while the work is on. That mean the constricted ORR will have only 4 lanes instead of the current 6 lanes usable for motor vehicles. Hence if there is a BPS running through too, then we only have one lane for rest of the motor vehicle traffic. This will make it grossly inadequate.

Hence instead of wasting resources which is to last only for the next few months, the govt needs to prioritize and fallback on the original plan to provide quick metro access on tis route.

It at all govt is serious to provide relief they should focus on the following for the metro:

  • Set challenging deadlines for completion of construction
  • Setup a effective monitoring mechanism
  • Clear financial issues(if any) of funding etc
  • Address all land related problems

BPS is a good idea. But ORR might not be the place to pilot that now..

 

Comments

murali772's picture

a futile exercise

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1 user has liked.
Yes, amongst the most shocking aspects of the current exercise of implementing the BPS project on the ORR (Whitefield stretch), quite as Srinidhi has pointed out, is it's timing, even as BMRCL is all set to start its work on the very same stretch.
 
Besides, there has been plenty of gyaan on Bus Priority System (BPS)
 
 
And, on Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) @
 
 
These have been there on PRAJA for over a decade, and posted by people quite studied on the subject (some residing abroad and experiencing them on a daily basis). For all of that, it is surprising that whoever mooted the present project don't seem to have even glanced at these, or contacted any of the many who have posted their views on them. This applies not only to the government officials, but also to the Civil Society champions of the project, going by the kind of exchanges I have been seeing on the social media groups.
 
Apart from PRAJA, there are organisations like WRI, CiSTUP, etc too who have done a lot of studies on these systems. But apparently, they too were not consulted, at least not initially, before deciding on the viability of it all. Only after implementing the pilot, and facing all kinds of problems, do they seem to be looking around for advice, if at all.
 
If anyone were to ask me, I'd straightaway have suggested that they drop the proposal, my reasons being as below (which I had posted on FaceBook almost a month back):
 
Perhaps the best working example of "bus priority lane"-ing is in London.
 
Just study that and try to replicate it here. But, the problem in Bengaluru lies elsewhere - in the incapacity of BMTC, arising out of it's total govt ownership as also the monopoly status. Unless that goes, all these are futile exercises.
 
Shuttl, the bus services aggregator, has recently announced it's presence in many key cities in the country (Bengaluru does not figure in it). So, all of those cities have dismantled the monopoly of their respective govt operations. What is Bengaluru waiting for???
 
My recommendation would be to license Shuttl kind of bus aggregators right away, and thereafter, re-structure BMTC along a PPP mode as here , based more or less on the most successful and equitable Delhi power supply model.
 
A major factor for the success of the London "bus priority lane" operations (and not just that) is the fact that it has an elected Mayor, who governs all aspects of the city, without interference from UK Prime Minister, his/ her cabinet, or Westminster (Parliament). Here on the contrary, you have a state transport minister, sundry politicians appointed as Chairman, Vice Chairman, Addl Chairman, apart from DULT, Traffic Police, BBMP, etc, pulling in all directions, with no defined line of authority. That's where the need for an UMTA comes in reporting to a directly elected Mayor, as envisaged in the B S Patil Committee report (check here).
 
As a Civil Society member commented elsewhere, the government's present exercise seems to be prove the inevitability of going in for the "Elevated Corridor" kind of development. The way some of the Civil Society members have taken the stance of "no dismantling the BMTC monopoly - come what may", one would think they are part of the same mafia confederation.
 
Muralidhar Rao

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