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French firm POMA offers to bring cable cars to city

Economic Times:  June, 2016

Bengaluru: French company POMA has proposed a cable car facility within Bengaluru to provide feeder services to the Metro trains, an idea city development minister KJ George has directed Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation to explore.

Representatives of POMA, an 80-year old company that specializes in ropeway transportation, made a presentation to George on Thursday about how a cable car facility could help decongest the city. If approved, it could be a feeder facility for Metro rail services in the city with a capacity of carrying 3,000 passengers per hour, the company said.

Impressed, George has set up a committee headed by BMRCL managing director Pradeep Singh Kharola to discuss the proposal in detail before taking it to chief minister Siddaramaiah.

Cable car facilities in urban settings can connect suburbs with city centres, cross over rivers without building bridges and connect airport terminals. POMA has installed such facilities -known as air trams- in Algiers (Algeria), New Orleans (USA), Laon (France), Medellin (Colombia), Taipei Maokong (Taiwan) and Nizhny Novgorod Bor (Russia).

Bengaluru Metro's east-west corridor, which opened in April connecting a 18-km distance from Mysuru Road and Byappanahalli, is catering to 1.1 lakh passengers daily. The corridor, however, lacks feeder services as the city's public bus utility BMTC is yet to augment its fleet for the purpose. Another French company, JCDecaux, met the minister offering to construct bus shelters with mobile phone charging and toilet facilities, besides taking up advertisements in Namma Metro.

"These measures, if permitted, would undoubtedly enhance the beauty of the city besides ensuring cleanliness and comfort," JCDecaux representatives told the minister. The Paris-headquartered firm specializes in bus stop advertising systems, billboards, public bicycle rentals and street furniture.

This is a continuation of the government's efforts to rope in the private sector to improve the city's infrastructure. Earlier this week, George met over a dozen solid waste management companies, all of them proposing different ways to use the city's garbage to produce energy or compost.