A special session of Gobar Talk was organised on 7 May 2008 at the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) office in India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road. The agenda was to track the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor that connects Ambedkar Nagar to Delhi Gate. The trial run of its first segment, which links Ambedkar Nagar with Moolchand flyover, riveted the attention of every citizen of Delhi. And became the hot topic of endless debates. The question was – should we abandon the BRT halfway because of its initial hiccups like long traffic snarls, irate car drivers, and confused policemen? Or should we allow some more time to its managers to control these teething problems and work towards the main goal, of which the BRT is only a part – addressing the formidable air pollution and road congestion challenges in the city?
The BRT Gobar Talk tried to find some answers to this question. Sunita Narain, Director of CSE, Anumita Roychowdhury, head of CSE’s Air Pollution Campaigns Unit and Sumita Dasgupta, head of CSE’s Environment Education Unit, explained why building an affordable, accessible, efficient public transport system is absolutely critical for Delhi’s survival. More than 150 students, teachers and staff members from various schools of Delhi, along with other concerned people joined us to ask questions, clear doubts and suggest solutions about the issue.
At the end of the meeting, the students group decided:
We must abide by traffic rules
We should see the bigger picture and not get bogged down by initial problems
Better public transport is the way ahead