India's first pod taxis coming up in Gurgaon at the cost of Rs 850 cr
The government is set to commence work on India's first pod taxi service in Gurgaon by this month-end. A report in Business Today stated that, even as the Centre has given its nod to the project, the Urban Development Ministry (UD) wants to know which ministry will be responsible for the safety audit of the taxi service. Sources said the UD Ministry claimed that since the pod taxi is part of the mass rapid transit system, it cannot be executed without the ministry's clearances.
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Image: India Times[/caption]
However, the Transport Ministry has claimed that since the project aims at decongesting NH-8, it is under NHAI's domain. Sources stated that the contract may be awarded by the end of July or next month. Sources also said that Nitin Gadkari and Venkaiah Naidu, senior ministers of the Union Cabinet, would sort out the issue so that the project is not further delayed. Gadkari is currently on a US visit to invite investments in the highways development, road engineering and safety and maritime sectors. "We have received four bids from several companies, including two foreign firms. The bids are being scrutinised. The contract will be awarded after a formal decision is taken," said a transport ministry official.
Earlier, Nitin Gadkari had announced that work on Metrino pod taxi service would begin by July this year. The Rs 4,000-crore public transport project will enable commuting in driverless pods suspended on a ropeway in the NCR. The first project will be from Dhaula Kuan in Delhi to Manesar in Haryana. The 70-km stretch from Dhaula Kuan to Manesar will decongest the NCR and ease traffic on NH-8, giving great relief to airport passengers and scores of daily office-goers. The first phase will include a pilot project covering 13-km stretch from Gurgaon-Delhi border to Badshapur Mod with a total of 16 stations. The Transport ministry has earmarked Rs 850 crore for the pilot project. The ropeway-like system runs on electricity and driverless pods and comes down at designated stations, thus removing the traffic burden from crowded roads. The capital cost of the metrino is Rs 50 crore per km against Rs 250 crore per km of the metro.