The basic infrastructure required for the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) project, including roads, is likely to be in place in the next three months, according to Mayor M. V. Ratna Bindu. A team of corporators and MLAs led by the Mayor visited the BRTS corridor and inspected the ongoing works on Saturday.

On sidelines of the tour, Ms. Ratna Bindu said that side drains, bridges, roads, widening of Eluru road and so on would be completed in the next three months, so as to complete the third phase of the BRTS project. And, in the fourth phase, procurement of buses and other related works would be taken up. The construction of Sitannapeta bridge, which is a part of the BRTS project, was completed while the works on the bridge near Padavalarevu were going on at brisk pace. The Corporation made some amendments to the original plan of the project for the convenience of the public. Accordingly, it has been decided to issue tickets in buses as against the original proposal to issue them at designated bus stops. Likewise, 10 air-conditioned and 30 non-air-conditioned buses would be purchased. In the case of a demand for more AC buses, the 30 non-AC buses could be converted into AC buses, she said.

The Mayor disclosed that Chief Minister K. Rosaiah would inaugurate the Sitannapeta bridge during his scheduled visit to the city this week.

String of inaugurations

Apart from this, a string of inaugurations, including that of JNNURM houses, the 11-MGD plant at Head Water Works and five elevated water reservoirs, would be the other programmes of the Chief Minister.

CPI floor leader D. Sankar remarked that the Corporation was making tall claims about the BRTS project covering a distance of 15.5 km in the city. But in reality, BRTS buses would cover only 5 km, for which hundreds of crores of rupees were being spent while ignoring One Town, water supply and underground drainage.

Mahadev Appaji, the independent corporator who owes allegiance to the Praja Rajyam, stressed the need to form a link road to One Town from Kedareswarapeta. As BRTS buses would take a diversion near Kedareswarapeta and go towards BRTS road in Satyanaryanapuram, residents of One Town travelling by these buses would immensely benefit if the road opposite Sitannapeta bridge leading to Sairam theatre, Chittinagar and Errakatta was developed into a link road.

Pointing out that more than 20 internal roads in Satyanarayanapuram and other localities abutting the BRTS road had no access to the newly laid road, Congress corporator (47th division) T.D.V. Nagalakshmi said the VMC did not respond to the representations of the people living there. Though the railway track was removed, traffic problem remained the same as there was no access to the newly developed road. “We will not allow BRTS buses to ply on the first day itself, if the Corporation fails to provide access to the BRTS road,” she asserted.

Vijayawada Central MLA Malladi Vishnu, Vijayawada West MLA Vellampalli Srinivas, Deputy Mayor S.P. Gritton, CPI (M) floor leader in the VMC general body Ch. Babu Rao and former Mayors Tadi Sakuntala and Mallika Begum took part in the tour.

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