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Delhi mulling over elevated pod car system

Special Correspondent
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“This modern, pollution-free system can supplement the existing modes of public transport”

Shaping future: The Delhi Government is planning an elevated City Pod Car System to encourage people to give up the use of their private vehicles.
Shaping future: The Delhi Government is planning an elevated City Pod Car System to encourage people to give up the use of their private vehicles.

To improve its public transport infrastructure, the Delhi Government on Tuesday embarked on an ambitious project to have an elevated City Pod Car System and ordered preparation of a detailed project report on priority basis.

Following a presentation on the system, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the Delhi Government was prepared to consider a new modern, convenient, pollution-free and affordable City Pod Car System to supplement the existing modes of public transport.

Ms. Dikshit directed the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System Limited and the Transport Department to prepare the DPR at the earliest. In the initial stage, a pilot project would be taken up in areas such as Pragati Maidan, Dwarka Sub-City, Karol Bagh, East Delhi and Delhi University North Campus to supplement the existing modes of public transport and to encourage people to give up the use of their private vehicles.

The system is commissioned primarily on the central verge of roads and comes up on pillars measuring 40 cm in diameter. It has an elevated track of 1.6 metre width on which the pods run. Each pod has a sitting capacity of seven passengers and runs on a battery source. The average fare of the pod, as per the presentation, would be about Rs.6 per km.

The promoted of the concept has offered to raise its own resources for implementing the project and therefore the Delhi Government would not be required to make any financial contribution. The cost of construction of the project is expected to be Rs.20 crore per km.

It was stated that the pods would be operated at a very high frequency of nearly one a minute and the passengers will be able to board and de-board from the elevated stations on the route.

Ms. Dikshit said the Delhi Government would like to extend the new system in other areas as well after its proper assessment.

Incidentally, neighbouring Gurgaon had taken the lead in this technology and it was in September 2010 that Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had announced that such a project was on the cards.

Then in January this year, the Haryana Government had made Municipal Commissioner of Gurgaon the nodal officer for the project and announced a blueprint spanning 105 km. As per the plan, there are to be 143 stations and eight multi-level parkings with a total of 3,150 pods. The maximum speed of the pods will be around 40 km per hour.

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