A large number of people, including cyclists, auto-rickshaw drivers and pedestrians took out “Jan Yatra” on Sunday to promote the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor as a people-friendly public transportation system.

The Yatra was organised by Hazards Centre, a professional support group and resource centre, that documents and analyses all such processes that seek to undermine rights of the majority in the city.

Flagged off by Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System Limited operations chief Surojit Roy, the Yatra began at Moolchand flyover around noon and culminated near the Municipal Corporation of Delhi parking lot in Ambedkar Nagar.

People from the Khanpur Jhuggi-Jhonpri Colony and the Wazirpur Industrial Area, auto-rickshaw drivers belonging to the Bharatiya Tripahiya Chalak Sangh and representatives of several organisations took part in the Yatra riding bicycles, auto-rickshaws and buses.

The Director of Hazards Centre, Dunu Roy, a chemical engineer and an environmentalist, hailed the BRT corridor as “well-illuminated”, “properly-serviced”, and “disabled-friendly” system catering to the primary needs of a majority of commuters.

“Critics of the BRT system or the High Capacity Bus System often project it as something that permits all transportation to move faster on the road. But a closer look indicates that this is a system specifically designed to allow public transport to carry larger number of people as conveniently and economically as possible. Hence, the media grouse that owners of private transport have been inconvenienced by the BRT serves to misrepresent the real intent of the system,” said Mr. Roy

“The BRT system in Delhi has gone several steps further than merely designing a dedicated corridor for buses. It also provides for pedestrian and cycle paths that are obstacle-free and disabled-friendly. It has allocated space to utilities, rickshaws, pedestrians, vendors and brought down the number of accidents. This initiative should be appreciated as it provides equal right of space on road irrespective of class,” he added.

Hazards Centre Public Relations Officer Mukesh Chourase said: “A survey carried out by some IIT students, while doing an internship with the Centre in December last, showed that 85 per cent of bus commuters found the system successful in promoting public transport, 88 per cent claimed that bus travel had become quicker and 90 per cent supported the idea of implementing it at other places.”

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