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Vote for Delhi, Vote for BRTS?

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Even the poll pundits have been surprised with the election results of DELHI.

Delhi voters have preferred Shiela Dixit for 3rd time over BJPs V K Malhotra and others. Did this vote give Shiela Dixit a thumbs up for development plank advertised on TV and paper news media? In that plank, BRTS was one of the developmental issue on which Congress tried to harvest the votes. Lets look at this issue closely.

During Shiela Dixit's last 2 tenure, Delhi witnessed some radical changes in public transportation and its infrastructure. It started with judiciary coming hard on Delhi government for enforcing the CNG buses and retiring old vehicles. Shiela Dixit, reluctantly had to follow the court orders. I am sure and do hope that this led to a much cleaner environment in our capital city.

Next in line was introduction of Delhi Metro and this became a brand itself. Every other state wants to build one and they all want the Delhi Metro chief Mr. Sreedharan to be technical evaluator of each of these projects. Very difficult to say how much the govt helped this project, but they didn't look to other side in making it a poster story for their election campaign. Most loud and visible in the news was introduction of BRTS and chaos it created in initial stages. Even though other vehicle users complained but BRTS users were relieved and they gave the thumbs up for the project in initial stages itself. Reports indicate that people are very happy about this development and in some instances they want this to be extended in entire city.

Not that each of these projects were mired with political controversies. BJP even made the BRTS as one of the election agenda along with terror and UPA government as other issues. It was clear that BJP tried to highlight the alleged inconvenience of BRTS model. But, the election results threw the surprise with returning Shiela Dixit possible as CM for 3rd time. Which is a quite an achievement in recent years.

The buzz word in the election analysis is that, vote for Delhi is basically a vote for development and local issues. Deciphering the statement further, it is being said, it is thumbs up for Congress Government to move fast and efficiently for projects like BRTS, extending Metro to other areas and spruce up the transport infrastructure in the capital.

If the this election inference is correct, then I think we should also get motivated for the BRTS system in our city, Bangalore.



Nitinjhanwar's picture

BRTS and Elections

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If one reads the above link one will know that BRTS in fact was wrongly conceptualized in Delhi. Atleast the phase that was operated first- South Delhi.

ITDP is one of the founder for GOI for the idea of BRTS in India. Initially they were supposed to have an active role but later opted for an advisory/reviewer one.

South Delhi is traditionally for the current Chief Minister and it comes in the effluent class-i.e. those who don't use BRTS.

What must have got her the votes was that she did an honest job of admitting her admin's mistakes and trying her best to find remedies.(Improving the intersections, traffic signal phasing and the area for other vehicles circulation).

Honest and self critical politicians are rare if not extinct.




asj's picture


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Its a bit over the top to think that BRTS has to do with a re-election victory. The ITDP report says buses are running at 12KPH!!!

kbsyed61's picture

Willing to bear the initial hassles!

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It would be cynical to assume that BRTS helped Shiela Dixit reelected CM for 3rd time in a row. There are many factors which contributed for reelection and over come anti-incumbency traditions.

The point I was raising was, even though the Delhi BRTS implementation was badly designed, poorly executed and people had to bear the brunt for many days, BJP's and other opposition party's cry on BRTS did not cut ice with voters. On the same token it is not a clean cheat for Congress and CM for this poorly executed project. It is just a breather for them to set right the flaws in the project and a sweet warning to implement the project right.

BRTS was one of the major issues that was talked and highlighted in the election. Congress used to show case it as a development plank, while opposition highlighted as failure of the govt to provide relief in daily commutes. Given this context, election results have thrown surprises and challenges for both the winners and losers to ponder upon the people's mandate given to each party and candidate.

Now Delhi government has a golden chance to set right the trial runs of BRTS experiment and make it a success. So that in future more areas is served by BRTS with right implementation.


Delhi's size advantage

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 Delhi's advantage is it's size. Second, it does not have excess baggage like a big state attached to it. Unlike Mumbai where, most of the direct and indirect taxes generated in Mumbai is ploughed back into the rest of Maharashtra. Sheila Dikshit can effeciently function more as a Mayor of Delhi rather than the Chief Minister of Delhi comment guidelines

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