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Hybrid aeroboats may be inducted for Kumbh; launch pilot for Taj Mahal: Gadkari

twitter-logoPTI | November 1, 2018 | Updated 21:27 IST

(Eds: Recasting intro) New Delhi, Nov 1 (PTI) The government is exploring possible use of hybrid aeroboats during the Kumbh fair as well as to provide an alternative transportation mode to connect the national capital with the iconic Taj Mahal, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said Thursday. He said the government is exploring the use of new kinds of vehicles like hybrid aeroboats that combine land, water and aviation technology and can run on land, water and air at speeds greater than 80 km per hour. "Hybrid aeroboats from top Russian companies could be roped in for Kumbh and we may start a pilot project also before January 26 for taking people to Taj Mahal," Gadkari said addressing here at a function. The remark comes after top Russian companies, which manufacture these aluminium aeroboats, have made presentations before the Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation minister earlier this week. Gadkari said that the government is also looking at the possibility of using aerial transport systems like ropeways, pods etc, especially for hilly terrains and as a last mile connectivity option in congested cities. Earlier an official source told PTI that a company, which manufactures these aeroboats at St Petersburg, has been asked to demonstrate these vehicles at an early date, possibly along with the inauguration of a multi-modal terminal at Varanasi. The source said that though manufacturing of these boats is done largely in St Petersburg, there is no problem of spares etc as its engine is of Toyota's. "The company manufactures small boats (hybrid aeroboats) for inland waterways. They are all-terrain boats that can run on water, marshy land with just 10 cm water, snow or ice. The boats run on petrol or electricity, methanol can also be used. The speed of the boats is nearly 170 km per hour - about three times the speed of normal boats," the source has said. The boats are made of aluminium, they take about 15 minutes to assemble, the source said, adding the passenger capacity is 11. They also have bigger boats of 60-person capacity that lift into the air. "Maximum lift is 3 metres so it is outside the ambit of civil aviation regulations," the source has added. Skolkovo Foundation is the principal agency responsible for the Russian Skolkovo Innovation Centre, a scientific and technological body for the development and commercialisation of advanced technologies. Founded in 2010, it is a non-profit organisation with a mandate to create new science and technology development centre in the Moscow - suburb of Skolkovo. Talking about Ganga the minister said about 70 to 80 per cent work of Ganga cleaning will be done by March and the entire cleaning will be done by March 2020. Also, he said, steps have been taken to ensure flow of the river throughout the year. PTI NAM NAM BAL BAL BAL

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