The pod taxi project that was expanded to pass through old Gurgaon areas is being held up because of safety concerns. The project has been referred to the Niti Aayog and the construction is likely to be delayed, an official who is part of the project said.
In its original route, a 12.3-km track from New Delhi-Haryana border to Subash Chowk via Rajiv Chowk on Sohna Road was approved. It would be later extended to Dhaula Kuan and Manesar on either sides.
The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) later proposed changes in the original route to include parts of old Gurgaon, increasing the length by six kilometres.
However, sources said the proposal was conceptualised without considering the safety concerns for setting up the system in the congested parts of Old Gurgaon.
“The service (pod taxi) uses an electric ropeway system for functioning. The Old Gurgaon area is filled with loose electrical cables and wires that need to be cleared or re-routed for the service to run without hindrance. The area is different from NH-8 where elevated tracks and pillars can be set up with minimal aerial obstacles,” a senior MCG official said.
In addition, the MCG floated its own expression of interest (EOI) for the project earlier this month.
The EOI has also come down under scrutiny as safety parameters regarding acceleration, braking points, highest speed, average speed and space between PODS are yet be put in place. Hence, without any specifications and standards, the EOI is of no use. The scrutiny and analysis of safety parameters required for the project will at least take two months to be completed, sources said.
Amit Khatri, additional commissioner of MCG said the civic body will follow Niti Aayog’s guidance for executing the project. Khatri said that the decision on including parts of Old Gurgaon will depend on the approval from the Urban Local Bodies.
The development comes a month after the Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari said work on the country’s first pod taxi project will commence in three months.
The minister had made the announcement after laying the foundation stone for new underpasses and flyovers in Gurgaon at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium complex in Sector 38 on September 11.
The project is being built on a ‘design, build, finance, operate and transfer’ model.