Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, October 15
The multi-crore Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) project will complete its four years in December. Astonishingly, what started in 2016 still remains undone, is lacking maintenance and totally neglected.
The project is worth Rs600 crore, but the lanes don’t seem to reflect the colossal amount invested in construction as they are in pathetic condition at many points. However, no concerned department made any efforts to revive them. Moreover, the metro bus service was operationalised in 2016 without the completion of works — two of its stations at elevated road are still under construction. The bricks, gravels and other material can be seen lying on the elevated road.
Meanwhile, poor planning and substandard material used has done most of the damage already to its infrastructure. The road witnessed major potholes near the railway station and Alpha Mall in the past. Apart from this, recarpeting on various points is a heavy need of the hour. During rainy season, the BRTS lanes often get flooded. The MC officials had claimed that the construction agency installed storm sewerage alongside lanes, but it is choked. As a result, two years back a major stretch of the mall had caved in due to alleged blockage and the authorities were compelled to divert the metro bus for several months.
This is not it. The grillwork is also missing from several locations and for officials the drug addicts are the usual suspects. But, residents are also at fault as they have removed grills at some points for their own convenience because allegedly the lanes create a hindrance in crossing the road. Some broken grills, too, are lying on the road leading to accidents.
The list seems to be never-ending. Traffic experts claimed lack of proper signage, reflectors and other safety infrastructure led to accidents on the BRTS corridor. Even a study by them at Guru Nanak Dev University found nine black spots on the 31-km-long BRTS corridor, where more than 24 persons have died. These spots have been identified as Bhandari bridge, BRTS station outside the railway station, Valmiki chowk, Putaligarh chowk, Civil Hospital, Ramtalai chowk, Husainpura chowk, Mall Mandi chowk and outside Alpha Mall.
Inderjeet Singh Chawla, Chief Executive Officer BRTS, said, “The urban transport is prerogative of local governments. Recently, on September 30, the state government transferred it to the local bodies department. Now, the maintenance and repair would begin soon. It was very much required.”
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