Haridwar’s PRT System Receives No Bids for PPP Contract

Uttarakhand Metro Rail Corporation (UKMRC) has received no bids for developing Haridwar’s Personalised Rapid Transit (PRT) System after it attempted to open technical bids for it retender on Thursday.

The city’s PRT system – named Haridwar Darshan – is planned to be built on the public-private partnership (PPP) mode under Design, Built, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis. It envisions a 20.70 km network of 4 elevated corridors on the central verge of the city’s roads:

  • Sitapur – Bharat Mata Temple: 14.58 km
  • City Hospital – Daksha Temple: 3.1 km
  • Ganeshpuram – DAV School: 2.4 km
  • Valmiki Chowk – Laltaro Bridge: 0.65 km
Haridwar PRT’s route map – via the tender docs

The project aims to transport 4-8 passengers in small driverless pod-cars or pod-taxis for nonstop point-to-point travel.

UKMRC has attempted to re-tender this project out multiple times. Back in April 2021, PNC Infratech was declared as the only bidder and subsequently the tender was cancelled a few weeks later due to poor participation.

For the latest round, UKMRC re-invited bids in March 2023 with a 30 year contract period and Rs. 1328.59 crore estimate

Brief Scope: Development of Personalised Rapid Transit (PRT) System in Haridwar City of Uttarakhand called Haridwar Darshan PRT on PPP Model under Design Built Finance Operate and Transfer (DBFOT basis)

Concept rendering via Austin Business Journal

I’m glad this project saw no bidders and hope the Government of Uttarakhand scraps it all together as I’ve never been convinced by the utility of PRT systems in the urban landscape, particular in India, due to severe capacity constraints. They are too small for big cities, and too costly for smaller cities.

There are only a handful of PRT systems around the world (eg: Heathrow Airport in London and Suncheon in South Korea) and most are 1-4 km long. Many operators have in fact suspended plans for further expansion.

If I had it my way, in Haridwar I’d first strengthen and improve the local bus system, sidewalks, curb-side and street design for better throughput. This is extremely basic stuff that all cities and towns still need to work on.

Back in May, India’s National Highways Logistics Management Ltd. (NHLML) received 5 bids for appointing a consultant to develop GIFT City’s PRT system in Gujarat. Financial bids were opened in July, but the winner remains unknown to me. If someone reading this is aware, then leave a comment below.

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written by

Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

12 Responses to "Haridwar’s PRT System Receives No Bids for PPP Contract"

  1. Naveen kumar says:

    NHLML has issued the contract for devepling DPR for PRT system at Gift City to RINA CONSULTING SPA Italy.
    Inception report already submittied. Alignment Rout also finalized.
    Benchmark study under process.
    For more details please contact me at 9560790586

  2. Jimmy Vij says:

    What’s with the govt’s and their obsession with PRTs. That’s is the least viable form of transport. Even simple cable cars for hilly regions would be effective.

  3. Anupam Vibhuti says:

    We should leave PRT feasibility and context applicability to experts, unless you are saying DMRC is not a credible institution any more.
    Why should you be glad !? – that a new mode being tried in the multimodal mix should fail for India? Why would you wish to ‘exclude’ a potential solution? Of course all other mode layers need strengthening including infra for pedestrians – which PRT proponents are not advocating against.
    The tenders for PRTs have been failing because lack of competing technology systems. You must be aware there very few technology systems around with only one more active in India, besides many other teething issues around this sunrise area.
    Please be more objective.

    • Nihar says:

      TMRG has infact provided factual and objective coverage of the tendering process. However, as his blog, he has every right to include an opinion piece.

      PRT systems are evidently a gadgetbahn – fancy & geeky, but impractical for pretty much any real public transport service. As someone who has covered so many transit projects, I think we can safely assume TMRG is an “expert” enough to write an opinion about it.

      In fact I’m glad he did, considering many people from the field probably read his blog and may realise that the same 1000+ cr can be spent far more effectively.

      • M says:

        Well said. PRT is unproven untested rubbish like Hyperloop – which was praised by everyone initially but then turned out to be a scam.

      • Anupam Vibhuti says:

        Hopefully TMRG can personally defend himself.

        Journalists today are ‘expert enough’ on many subjects. Opinion pieces are welcome, so should the counter opinions…. But you would agree, good journalism needs to be devoid of subjectivity.

    • M says:

      DMRC’s credibility lies in construction and operation of Metro rail systems. For everything else (as with all consultants) they mostly talk out of their ass or say what the entity paying them wants to hear. Some of the DPRs they’ve submitted for smaller metros have been fairly sus.

    • Anil Kumar G says:

      PRT is not mass transport system. Solution to urban transport issues needs to be primarily a mass transport system .

  4. Anupam Vibhuti says:

    Hopefully TMRG can personally defend himself.

    Journalists today are ‘expert enough’ on many subjects. Opinion pieces are welcome, so should the counter opinions…. But you would agree, good journalism needs to be devoid of subjectivity.

  5. jaimin shah says:

    we are talking about last mile coonectivity, walkability, 10 min city like concepts in urban planning and mass transit systems fails to meet such concepts. if we want last mile connectivity we must consider pod cars systems, PRT which can penetrate deep into d city fabric without disturbing existing city infrastructure. we need to think fresh to solve deep rooted problem of transit.
    rather being happy about someone failure i wish we look for reasons y they failed and try to find answers.

    • Uday says:

      It’s great to see a forward-looking approach to urban planning and transit systems. Acknowledging the challenges of last mile connectivity and walkability while proposing innovative solutions like pod car systems and PRT demonstrates a proactive mindset. Your emphasis on thinking creatively and considering fresh ideas to solve these deep-rooted transit problems is commendable. Moreover, your focus on understanding the reasons for past failures and seeking answers is a valuable and constructive mindset that will contribute to the development of effective and sustainable solutions. Keep up the positive and solution-oriented approach!


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