The futuristic method of traveling- Pod Taxi Project India Connecting Delhi-Gurugram, which is likely to provide some much-needed alleviation to the traffic congestion has gotten one step nearer to becoming a reality. A high-level -panel recommended inviting fresh bids for the pod taxi project conforming to the strictest safety standards on the lines of those prescribed by an American body.
The projected Rs 4,000-crore Pod Taxi Project India Connecting Delhi- Gurugram scheme, also called Personal Rapid Transit (PRT), is a dream project of Road Travel and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari
The NHAI has been mandated to implement it on Delhi-Gurgaon pilot corridor (12.30 km) from Delhi-Haryana bounder to Rajiv Chowk in Gurgaon on the PPP (public-private relationship) basis.
“The committee recommends issuance of a fresh EOI (expression of interest) incorporating (automated people movers) APM standards and specifications, along with other general safety parameters with Niti Aayog recommendations,” the five-member committee set up for technical and safety standards of PRT, headed by transport expert S K Dharmadhikari, said.
The ambitious project has been suffering from delays as authorities think-tank Niti Aayog raised some red flags, asking the highways ministry to direct initial bidders to get ready a 1-km pilot stretch as all the technologies were unapproved. Succeeding delays were induced because of the creation of the high- powered committee to lay down safety and other technical specifications.
PRT is an advanced public transport using automated electric pod car to give a taxi-like demand response feeder and shuttle services for small groups of travellers and it is a green function of the uninterrupted journey.
The committee in its report also suggested framing of request quotation (RFQ) predicated on conversations with interested players and pressured the necessity for evaluation, based on performance in the test portions.
The automated people mover (APM) standards in the US as suggested by the committee for the maiden PRT in India have been prepared by the American Society of Civil Designers (ASCE) and these constitute the minimum requirements for an acceptable level of safe practices and performance for the PRT.