The much anticipated Pod taxi or the Personal Rapid Transport system project, proposed along the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, is likely to get delayed as the highways authority is finalising the technical details and other safety standards required to create such a complex transport system.
The pilot project is proposed between Dhaula Kuan in Delhi and Sector 47 on Sohna Road. It will cost over Rs 800 crore. The project will have small automatic driverless pods moving on a suspended network with multiple stops.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has also received inputs from the Niti Aayog after it had made a detailed presentation on October 2, 2016 before transport experts and Niti Aayog member VK Saraswat. A senior NHAI official said since the project is based on a new technology, the authority will conduct tests and studies before embarking on the project.
“It is taking some time for us to fix the standards and finalise the modalities as this is a completely new technology. We are going to build it as one of the finest public transport projects in the country,” Manoj Kumar, chief general manager, NHAI, and the in-charge of the project, said.
The project could not take off despite the assurance of union transport minister Nitin Gadkari because there was confusion as to which agency would implement it. Ultimately, it was decided that the NHAI would head the project, but there was confusion over the rules under which the pod taxis would operate.
Kumar said all regulatory and operational issues are being resolved, and efforts made to ensure that the vision and execution of the project give maximum benefit to commuters.
The NHAI has received expression of interest from Metrino (MPIL-GC) joint venture, PNC Sky Tran, Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited and Neel Metal Products Limited for the project.