The Haryana government has proposed a cost-effective personalized rapid transport based on Pod car to provide faster connectivity between the old Chandigarh International Airport terminal and its new terminal building located in Mohali. 77 pods each with the capacity to ferry 6 passengers, luggage to be used.
The Pod car proposal was submitted by Haryana Chief Secretary Sanjeev Kaushal at a recent meeting here convened by Punjab Governor-cum-Chandigarh Administrator Banwari Lal Purohit and attended by senior officers of Haryana and Chandigarh.
The proposal, on implementation, will cut down on the long road travel which residents of Chandigarh and Panchkula and some parts of Mohali have to take at present, said an official statement here on Tuesday, September 13.
Chandigarh International Airport Limited is a joint venture company incorporated under the Companies Act, 2013 by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in association with the Governments of Punjab and Haryana. The airport runway is located in Chandigarh while the international terminal is located on the south side of the runway in the village of Jhiurheri, Mohali.
He said that the current connectivity to the International terminal is such that passengers coming from Himachal Pradesh, Panchkula, and Ambala side International Airport have to cover a longer distance to reach the new international terminal.
Sanjeev Kaushal said that Haryana Metro Rail transport Corporation (HMRTC), a wholly-owned company of the Haryana Government, under Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran, has proposed a Pod car system to connect the old Airport terminal to the new Airport terminal which is cost-effective, convenient and requires only about 6 acres of land along the boundary of Chandigarh International Airport.
The ownership of this land will remain with the Air Force, it said. Notably, the airport lies in a defence airfield that is being used by civilian operators as well. The Air Traffic Control and runway operations lie with the IAF.
“A preliminary study has been conducted by HMRTC to provide connectivity between old Airport Terminal and New Airport Terminal of Chandigarh International Airport wherein the total land involved is approximately 6 acres only,” he said.
Kaushal said that 77 numbers of pods are initially envisaged to be placed in service for transporting passengers as well as goods. It will be a guided transit system fully secured with only two stoppages. Pods cannot be forcefully stopped in between and thus it addresses any security concern. The time travel will be only 8 to 10 minutes, he added.
“The project cost is just INR 231.50 crore, including INR 116 crore Infra cost,” he said. He said the Chandigarh Union Territory administration is already in the process of providing road connectivity from Chandigarh to the airport’s new terminal.
“Two alternative alignments have been suggested and submitted to Indian Air Force, as Chandigarh being the Defence Airport. The proposals are under consideration in the Ministry of Defence, Government of India,” he said.
However, the Chief Secretary explained that the two options of road connectivity under consideration are very costly and time-consuming due to the involvement in the acquisition of land and removal of unauthorized structures.
The recent meeting also decided that the UT administration will support the Pod car proposal and Haryana can go ahead with its implementation after necessary clearances from the Indian Air Force and the involvement of Chandigarh International Airport Limited, he said.
To cut down the distance and travel time two proposals – Underpass connectivity and Road Connectivity are under consideration for a long time.
However, the underpass connectivity faced objections from the IAF authorities because an underpass below the operational surface of the IAF station would not be acceptable for security reasons.
Road connectivity along the boundary wall of the IAF station was also proposed after clearing all obstructions within its 100 meters. This would have reduced the distance by 8-9 km. However, it involves the acquisition as well as the demolition of illegal construction. Due to this & various other reasons, the road connectivity projects also hang in the air, said the Haryana government statement.
Kaushal said that given the delay in implementation and non-finalisation of any proposal despite various meetings between the stakeholders, Haryana Government had proposed the Pod car connectivity at a much less cost, including land.