2 Feb 2009, 0320 hrs IST, Swati Sengupta, TNN
KOLKATA: The state government’s ambitious Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) plan is now ready in a new avatar. After being turned down by the Centre for containing several flaws, the proposal has now been remodelled and the first phase of the facility to run between Ultadanga and Garia Station Road for 15.5 km is now ready to be cleared by Delhi.
Bengal Urban Infrastructure Development Pvt Ltd, a joint sector company formed with the state government, has prepared the new model of BRTS, a high-quality transit system that delivers fast, comfortable and low-cost transport. An improvement from the regular bus service, BRTS is affordable and fast due to dedicated tracks.
The project, which will cost a whopping Rs 300 crore, will pass through five flyovers — at Ultadanga, Parama Island, Ruby crossing, the EM Bypass-Prince Anwar Shah connector and the overbridge at Baghajatin railway station.
With the traffic count between Beliaghata and Science City at 7,000 PCU (passenger car unit), the BRTS will provide high-speed ride over this stretch without being hindered by the increasing traffic count along the EM Bypass. These buses will move at 60 kmph and stop only at their designated stops.
Among the changes made from the earlier plan, a second-tier flyover at Chingrihata over the existing one going towards Rajarhat has been dropped. Two service roads — one opposite ITC Sonar and another near the water bodies close to Chingrihata — have also been dropped.
There is also a plan to tie up with the railways, Metro and other transport organisations to integrate the network into BRTS, so that it might be possible for a person to purchase a single ticket and to travel the entire distance involving rides in BRTS, trains, trams, Metro and so on. The Centre had particularly stressed this integration plan.
The Kolkata BRTS bay would be based on the Pune model — towards the footpath. “If the bays are towards the divider, passengers can meet with accidents if they cross the road in a hurry,” said an official. In Ahmedabad and Delhi, the bays are towards the dividers.
The smart bus stops will be more of bus ‘stations’, with pre-boarding ticketing and comfortable waiting facilities for passengers. The multi-door buses will be on the same level of the bus stations to allow easy and comfortable boarding and alighting. The buses will look completely different — large, high-capacity and comfortable, said a senior official of the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority.
Service roads would be integrated with the main road and routine traffic would not be allowed to hinder the dedicated BRTS tracks. “BRTS will work in coordination with operators of smaller buses to create new feeder services to the bus stations,” an official added.
There will also be overpasses and signals showing when the next buses would arrive in the model of modern cities around the world.
Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com
Photo : http://farm4.static.flickr.com