Kanjhawla on the Radar

All the fuss about the “6.5 kms of confusion”, as one user of the BRT corridor addresses it, is not deterring the Delhi government to use this vehicle to solve the commuting woes forecasted in Delhi. It might be recalled that Delhi is expecting it’s population to increase by more than 10 million people, 2 million dwelling units and more than 50,000 families migrating into Delhi every year. Add more than 1000 vehicles being registered in Delhi (PER DAY) and the increasing affluence in the surrounding cities of NCR. The perfect recipe for chaos is ready.

What do the planners chose? Pretend unpreparedness & do an “ostrich act”? Maybe, no. Some quarters of the planners and intellectuals decide to act, and work on the Delhi Master plan MPD 2021. The MPD 2021 document was notified by the government way back on Feb. 2007 vide the S.O No. 141. The government of India gazette notification is available for the public on the official websites of DDA and other agencies. It is no longer a mystery document. The MPD details are available online too. Lo & behold, the political class did not change the stance, and continue to drag it’s feet on three critical components of management – RESEARCH, RESPOND, REFORM, REGULATE & REGISTER.

Some sense seems to be returning back. Work on the ground is visible again with multiple agencies putting together their resources to make the change, before the change becomes the mess.

Now specifically to the BRT corridors under proposal – Are they required, or aren’t they? The Delhi government think tank seems to find merit that the BRT is the way forward. If I have to add a rider, it would be a caution flag not to repeat the mistakes of the Ambedkar stretch till Moolchand, and to factor in the gargantuan nature of the problem, growing on a daily basis.

RITES carried out the need & feasibility analysis, and seems to deduce that Delhi would require another 375 kms of BRT. Holy cow !!! 375 similar to 6.5 would be suicidal. Nevertheless, as facts stand, 5.6 kms would be added to the existing BRT corridor, and 16 new corridors totaling almost 369 kms would be added over the next 11 years. No one is yet questioning on the funding mechanism for these. Remember, these are internal city roads, and not toll expressways.

Most identified stretches, per estimates, would carry a vehicular traffic of more than 5000 units per hour, in either direction.

The longest of the recommended stretches would be from Khera – Najafgarh – Ibrahimpur whereas the fastest and shortest BRT corridor would be from Rohini sector 21 to Kanjhawala. Now, that seems to be some integrated development, since the government is already planning a couple of Large Hospitals, government housing projects and other social infrastructure in Kanjhawla. Besides, kanjhawala has one of the most sought after, and neat extended abadi Lal Dora areas in Delhi. It augurs well for the region that infrastructure & housing would be developed simultaneously.

Fingers crossed, but my bet seems to be in favour of the Government. Soon, dreams might be reality.

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