To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle—Confucius, (551 BC - 479 BC)
Sub: Why not 100 metro rails in 100 cities of India at no cost to
State? That is what India can have with Skybus Metro Rail!
As an engineer of the country and inventor having assigned my
patents to people of my country, I am unable to stop writing to
you, even though there has been no response to my earlier
letters. It is because I know what is right for urban transport, it is
matter of principle that our country’s technology is not sabotaged
by the petty procurement specialists, however much highly placed
they are in the government.
To remove the confusion that the so called technical experts
chosen by our smart bureaucrats, to put down Skybus, the safety
tests I already conducted and proven- I would like a simple
proposal of mine to be considered.
Officially allow a Sate government to call for tenders to put up a
metro rail with no viability gap funding from the state, but with the
same performance and safety requirements applicable to
standard metro rail in the world, but with additional requirement
that the railway shall be derailment proof and coach shall never
escape railway track and capsize, ( better than any world class
metro rail) , which could be similar to Konkan Skybus metro, (as
an example.) The bidder shall first construct one kilometer model
section, prove that the international safety standards and safety
requirements for train control as applicable to metro rail in India,
are met with, providing an independent Safety certificate from an
organization of impeccable reputation in the world, say similar to
TUV Rheinland or Lloyds UK rail, based on which the
Commissioner appointed by the State will issue the certificate for
operating under the Indian state law,( either metro rail rules or
Tramway Act). If successful, the bidder will have right to
construct and operate the metro rail system for a period of 30
years. No viability gap funding will be provided by the state, but
right of way all along existing routes and other facilitation in terms
of permissions, taxes, notifications and enabling rules for
operation will be made.
If the bidder fails to get the certification, then the structure so
constructed shall be useful to the state as a flyover, providing at
least 3 lanes fit for cars, autos, two wheelers. When successful,
the stretch forms part of the total route length.
By encouraging the Indian technology, like Skybus, India will gain:
1.Save government funds from urban transport-
provide the same for water supply and sanitation of the cities
2.Provide in 100 cities metro rail transport- not just one
3.Indian industry will get fillip and will compete in
international market as leaders of advanced technology in metros
4.Base will be laid then to change the way we
construct sea ports and airports
5.Almost Rs 100,000 cr infrastructure can be
developed, without government loans or funding in urban
6.As no urban property will get dislocated, the
government will not incur the wrath and tears of those who lose
habitats and businesses as it is happening now in the name of
7.Be Indian and be proud as the leader of technology,
NOT a mere procurer!
What are the risks?
1.Untested technology and not proven- public safety
state has to assure, is the refrain of the bureaucracy and their
chosen consultants- refusing to understand the oscillation test
results, demonstrated at Goa. Be as it may, the risk to state is
now removed, because only if the model stretch satisfies the
safety standards, and gets certified under law, public transport
will be allowed.
2.If it is so good some advanced country like USA.
Germany should have done this system, earlier- and attempts are
made to compare with rubber tyred system- while Skybus is rail
based system. This also makes no more sense now that risk is
transferred to the bidder.
3.Capacities and performance concerns are raised-
but again these are commercial risks for the operator- any way
the model stretch will demonstrate these requirements. There is
no risk for the state.
4.The right of way given over the kilometer will be
wasted, when the technology fails, and so state will have an
unwanted ugly civil structure- but now that it can be still used as
a flyover, this objection has no basis now.
I am deeply concerned that Government of India has spent Rs 50
cr and tested the Skybus on test track and proved the only point
to be confirmed- the dynamic behaviour of suspended coach
successfully- but the country is denied the benefit of the
technology. It is a mere design case of using the same railway
technology, but procurement specialists are making it look like a
complex research project.
The benefit of patents I got for the country are being denied to the
people and you will agree, it is reprehensive. My prayer is that if in
spite of this proposal of mine, Government is unable to use and
wants to just delay use of technology for people, then, it is better
the patents may be returned back to me- I will use the rights in
setting up the new Skybus technology based metro rails outside
India, so that others may benefit.
With best wishes and regards,
7th Oct. 2007
(The author, B.Rajaram, is the former Managing Director of Konkan Railway and inventor of the Skybus, which will resolve India’s tranport problem. He now heads Atri Knowledge Embedded Infrastructure Lab P. Limited and is based in Hyderabad -www.atrilab.com)