Gurgaon: Pod Taxi likely soon, 1,000 e-rickshaws launched
Gadkari travelled from Delhi to Gurgaon and back for the event in the metro.Updated: Sep 04, 2017 22:39 IST
Union minister for road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari on Monday said that the detailed project report (DPR) for the much-awaited POD taxi project between Manesar and Dhaula Kuan has been prepared but some of the issues that may hinder the project include safety concerns, capital-intensive project.
He was speaking at the launch of 1,000 e-rickshaws in the city at the Huda City Centre Metro station.
Gadkari travelled from Delhi to Gurgaon and back for the event in the metro.
“DPR for the POD taxi project between Manesar and Dhaula Kuan has been issued and we are in the process of issuing tenders. The project has run into trouble with respect to safety problems and is awaiting clearance from authorities concerned,” Gadkari said.
Gadkari added that the government has envisioned POD taxi as an eco-friendly public transport and are committed to provide the service at the earliest. He added that since the project is highly-capital intensive, the government is trying to reduce its running costs and match tariffs to that of Delhi Metro service.
In September 2016, during the foundation stone laying of new underpasses and flyovers on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, Gadkari had announced that construction on the POD taxi project will commence in the three months. Last October, the POD taxi project had come to a standstill after Niti Aayog had raised objections regarding its safety.
In collaboration with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), 300 ‘Smart E’ rickshaws were added to the Gurgaon roads, with 700 more vehicles to be incorporated in the coming months.
Gadkari, minister of state (independent charge) for planning Rao Inderjit Singh, DMRC managing director Mangu Singh and Palash Roy Chaudhary, chief mentor of SmartE flagged off the service.
Aimed at eradicating last-mile connectivity issues in the city, Smart E e-rickshaws are GPS-enabled and their movement will be tracked by a control room.
It will ply from five DMRC stations in the city — Huda City Centre, IFFCO Chowk, MG Road, Sikanderpur and Guru Dronacharya. It can accommodate a maximum of four passengers at a time and is permitted to cover areas within a 5km radius.
Drivers will be verified by the police and the fares will start from Rs10 for the first two kilometres and Rs5 per km.
SmartE officials revealed that they had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Haryana government at last year’s Happening Haryana Summit to roll out five thousand eco-friendly vehicles.
Rao Inderjit Singh highlighted the problem of smog caused by crop burning in Haryana and Punjab during winters, which increases pollution at alarming levels in NCR and proposed that e-rickshaw service can assist in reducing pollution level.
Mangu Singh, managing director of DMRC, acknowledged that despite having a comprehensive metro service, last-mile connectivity remains a hassle and e-rickshaw services can be a solution to the issue.
At the event, Gadkari said that the government is working towards adding air-conditioned electric double decker buses in the metro cities.