City Focus: Bhubaneswar To Give Metro A Miss, to focus on BRTS

Bhubaneswar Smart City has decided to do away with the metro rail and is focussing on improving the bus transport system, installing intelligent traffic system and creating cycling tracks for the convenience of cyclist and pedestrians

It was for a reason that Bhubaneswar topped the list of the first pack of 20 cities selected by the Urban development Ministry under the Smart Cities Mission. As the city has decided to do away with the Metro, it is opting for Intelligent Traffic System(ITS), revamping its public bus transport system and creating infrastructure for cycle sharing to make its mobility solution intelligent and green.

“We need not have car-centric development and must have efficient, reliable and cost-effective bus-based public transport system as metro rail is not feasible in a city like Bhubaneswar even in coming two three decades,’’ Aditya Prasad Padhi, Chief Secretary, Odissa Government said.

And that is the reason the city has opted for BRT system, with new fleet of modern buses.

According to Vice-Chairman BDA, Krishan Kumar, during the Citizen Engagement exercises Mobility was voted as the most prioritised sector for the city’s development and said that the city’s planning will be people centric and not car centric.

“Bus transport as the mass mobility tool would be the most suited option for a city like Bhubaneswar,” he added citing an example of London city, which having an efficient metro system, still depends on buses to carry more and more people on daily basis.

The buses will have options like standard buses, trolley buses, electric buses and BRTS or a collage of some from these models.

As per Bhubaneswar Development Authority, Metro system for Bhubaneswar might cost Rs 6,000 crore for a route of 100 km, but with a 10 percent of the cost they can have an efficient bus transport network. With a new fleet of around 500 buses, we have decided to change the city’s mobility scenario within two years’ time. We have already started the process to have an expert from mobility sector to do a DPR,’’ Kumar informed.

Bhubaneswar has already working on Master System Integrator, which aims to integrate an array of services such as traffic, parking, transit and city WiFi into a single service with an investment worth Rs. 585 crore. The smart tracking management will look after functions of about 475 public service vehicles. This will help in streamlining the traffic and will be implemented by next two years. The city is also developing a cycling track of 105 km with help of Germany to boost cycling and promote cycle sharing.