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Gadkari looking to launch India’s first private rapid transit system from Dhaulan Kuan to Manesar

Minister for road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari has said a private rapid transit project connecting New Delhi to Haryana has ‘cleared all major hurdles’.

business Updated: Dec 18, 2017 07:19 IST
Jyotika Sood
Jyotika Sood
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Nitin Gadkari,Private Rapid Transit,Train System
Minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari said the private rapid transit project has cleared all the major hurdles.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

The ministry for road transport and highways has decided to re-invite expression of interests (EOI) in December for India’s first private rapid transit (PRT) system on 70-km stretch from Dhaulan Kaun (Delhi) to Manesar (Haryana) in Delhi-NCR region.

In an interview to Mint, minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari said the project has cleared all the major hurdles and safety standards would be now put in place to ensure its implementation in 2018. “I am determined to showcase the new technology to the people,” said Gadkari, who is famous for his out-of-box ideas in the government and public.

Gadkari said that the EOIs called earlier in 2016 will be scrapped as at the time of inviting them there were no standards and procedures for the implementation of the project. He said all the major hurdles for the project have been cleared and the high-powered committee formed to address the concerns on the new technology has submitted its report last week.

Representational image of a metrino system. (Metrino-prt.com)

According to the committee report accessed by the Mint, the technical standards to be followed for India’s PRT system should be adopted from Automated People Mover Standards of the US. The committee said that for the legal framework of the PRT systems – Punjab PRT act should be amended suitably and adopted as the model act for the implementation of the project. The committee also recommended creation of a PRT commissioner in the India’s PRT Act who will be empowered to do the safety certification for the PRTs in the country.

The PRT system also known as metrino is a futuristic, driverless vehicle in shape of pods which can accommodate 2 to 6 people and run along a pre-determined course using power. The pod cars move at a speed of 80-130 km/hour and can be used to transport people from one place to another at high speeds.

A senior government official on the condition of the anonymity said, “The Niti Aayog’s proposal to ask the PRT companies to build a 1km stretch to showcase their technology would be incorporated in the new EOI. Besides, the fresh EOI will also help to have a level playing field.”

In the EOI called in 2016, the government had received responses from four companies out of which three won the approval. These were Ultra Global PRT, skyTran and Metrino PRT, all forming joint-venture with the Indian companies. However, New Zealand’s Metrino Personal Rapid Transit, one of the three international front runners chosen for India’s first pod taxi project has decided to withdraw and called off its joint venture with an Indian partner it declined to name in May this year.

Ultra is the only company whose technology has been tested and is in commercial use. The skyTran technology is at the testing stage while Metrino has developed a prototype that was tested in 2007 in Poland but which is yet to be commercially operated or tested. The official said all the technologies cost less than Rs100 crore per km. The pod vehicles of Ultra are made of steel with rubber tyres that run on specially made tracks, while those of skyTran are magnetically levitated and Metrino pods are suspended from overhead rails.

First Published: Dec 18, 2017 07:13 IST