Tuesday, February 09, 2010

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Sky Bus, not Metro, tailor-made for Indian cities: Inventor
9 Feb 2010, 1319 hrs IST, IANS

NEW DELHI: The Sky Bus is tailor-made for congested Indian cities and is a safer and better option than Metro Rail, according to B Rajaram,
inventor of the Sky Bus and former managing director of Konkan Railway.

Significantly, Rajaram, who developed the Sky Bus — a twin-coach module that combines the strength of a steel coach with the flexibility of a bus — said he did it "at a tiny fraction of what it would have cost the government to develop it, which is anywhere between Rs 500 crore and Rs 800 crore".

The biggest advantage of a patented technology like the Sky Bus is that it remains the most cost-effective alternative at Rs 60-75 crore per route km as compared to Rs 215 crore for the Metro and Rs 400 crore for the underground Metro, at current costs, according to available data.

The Sky Bus can potentially carry six million passengers daily, or 80,000 hourly, in any direction.

"The Sky Bus pre-fabricated structure, unlike Metro Rail, which requires heavy infrastructure and huge capital, can be superimposed on existing roads, without altering their set-up or dislocating traffic, anchored by pillars raised on dividers," Rajaram told IANS in an interview.

It also frees authorities of the necessity of land acquisition, excavations and construction that clog and choke city arteries. What's more, said Rajaram, the project barely takes 24 months to commission against the five to seven years required by Metro systems.

"Integrating 15 rail technologies, Sky Bus turns the conventional approach on its head by reversing the position of the carriage and the wheels. The upside down configuration actually leverages gravity to bind the carriage wheels and the tracks inseparably in an enclosed concrete box, eliminating the possibility of either derailment or capsizing," he said.

"The system has already been granted worldwide patents and approved for mass implementation by German Tuv Rheinland, internationally renowned for technical-viability testing for aviation and transportation projects like magnetic levitated railways."

Handling passenger volumes is only one aspect of the Sky Bus. Another variant, the Sky Con, can be integrated with ports, railways and roadways, to accelerate loading and unloading of containers on ships 10 times faster than existing systems worldwide, he added.

A technical panel constituted by the central government and headed by Indiresen, former director of IIT, Madras, had concluded that the technology was "not tested" — which has become a major hurdle in its implementation.

Ironically, Indiresen also observed: "If very strict standards that some want to apply in this case (Sky Bus) had been applied in the case of Stephenson's Rocket Engine, the world would never have seen railways at all. We cannot live on borrowed technology for ever and should learn to develop our own inventions and, for that reason, learn to place confidence in Indian technology."

"Why single out the Sky Bus as 'untested'," asked Rajaram, "when a 'tested technology' like Metro Rail has been involved in a spate of accidents, injuring more than 200 people. Derailments and collisions over the past decade have also claimed 1,300 lives. Does it follow that train travel be outlawed as unsafe though the technology is proven?

"Similarly, were 'high-tech' Germany coaches disowned after uncoupling four or five times at low speeds within 20 days of their being introduced on the Lucknow-New Delhi Shatabdi Express in the late 1990s?" Rajaram asked.

Another panel headed by former president APJ. Abdul Kalam — as then prime minister's principal scientific advisor — had certified the technology as being safer than railways.

Sky Bus can be designated under the Tramway Act instead of the Indian Railway Act, since it moves along existing roads. Sky Bus is also included in the draft Metro Rail Act by the urban development ministry.

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Monday, December 01, 2008

Gravity Powered Urban High Speed Mass Rail Transportation system.

Need: Cities have limited transport zones historically fixed and do not expand or cannot be expanded because of built up habitats and businesses, to meet fast growing needs of urban population. Road based systems have low lineal density and quickly get saturated. The rail based system with high lineal density in capacity, and being rail guided can provide for automated fast transportation, but needs to be flexible to follow existing roads both in line and level to be economical and non-invasive to cause little damage to existing businesses and habitats.
Ideal requirements: We desire for a system capable of the meeting following requirements.
1.Follow the same right of way as existing roads either elevated or sub-way- and not requiring tunneling.
2.No large stations, but easy access from existing foot paths- rate of inflow to be matched by rate of servicing
3.No noise pollution nor any chance of collateral damage if failure occurs on the system while the system should satisfy the prescribed safety norms under UIC/ Indian Rly codes and regulations.
4.The rolling units and rail guidance such that no separation can take place, and there should be no capsizing of the module carrying passengers.
5.There should be no chance of getting stranded of a coach in between stations, no sudden power failures.
6.There shall be no possibility of collision between the units to endanger lives.
7.The entire existing road traffic should remain unhindered
8.Not a single habitat or business should need relocation.
9.Environmental friendly energy consumption thus reducing global warming
10.Level of service:
1.Air-condition and high speed 100 kmph max speed
2.Access should be within 250m from any point on the road and in any case nor more than 500m within the city.
Current rail based solutions do not satisfy all these requirements.

Gravity Power Towers:

Gravity Powered Urban Mass Rail transportation system meets all these requirements with scalable capacity and can take grades too, because it does not depend on rail/wheel adhesion for traction. The details are described in another technical paper with drawings. The estimates covering the cost of a typical project for a city of route length of 100km , operation, maintenance, interest and depreciation amounts, the expected revenues at 50ps per km and the expected profits are worked out.
Energy saving compared to current mode is 94% which is because we are tapping the alternate source of gravity power and the profits for a commercial venture can be of the order of 50% as ROC, after debt servicing and meeting all expenses including provision for depreciation.

1.A rolling module is 3.5mwide x 20m long and at 7m/sq.m can carry 400 persons standing.
2.Headway of 20 sec is such that when one unit gets serviced at a station, the service time being 20 sec, another would be arriving to take its place. The access from vertical lifts of high capacity also driven by gravity power tower, can feed/evacuate at 400 persons per 15 seconds.
3.The revenues worked out assuming 70% of utilisation of capacity in terms of passenger.km , even if it falls by 50%, then also 25% profit is assured.
4.The costing is based on 50% being a sub-way ( cut-cover close to road surface) and rest elevated system- there is no tunneling.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Letter to Smt Sonia Gandhi : India can have most modern metro rail transport without destroying property and NIL viability gap funding in 100 cities-performing better than Delhi metro!

B. RAJARAM BE., M.Tech., IRSE (Retd.) FIE., FNAE
DIRECTOR, Atri Knowledge Embedded Infrastructure Lab.P.Ltd.
Inventor & Mentor Anti-collision/Skybus Technolgies ( Fmr. MD/ Konkan Rly)
Flat 205, 2-2-15, B9, Bindu Prestige, DD Colony, Hyderabad 500007
Tel:+91 40 6454 5659 Tel.fax:+91 40 2740 0365 www.atrilab.com

To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle.
Chinese philosopher & reformer (551 BC - 479 BC)
Dear Madam,

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 or two
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 transport.
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 metro rail.
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,

Yours truly,

7th Oct. 2007


Smt. Sonia Gandhi
President Indian National Congress
New Delhi

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hon'ble Prime Minister of Malaysia addresses Hon'ble Prime Minister of India

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Letter addressed to Smt. Gandhi
Dear Madam,

Sub: Mindless wastage of public resources by our engineers and administration in urban transport schemes at the cost to public health, sanitation & drinking water

It is painful for any honest engineer or a bureaucrat to observe the copy cat behaviour adopted to think that there is only one solution to solve urban transport- that is by adopting the economically outdated metro rail as done by Delhi. Time to pause and learn the lessons others learnt long time back. Delhi Metro is proving to be a financial millstone, as admitted by the earlier Secretary in Urban Ministry. It is the most inefficient financially un-sustainable solution.

I had been writing earlier also the same and now I would like to throw a challenge:

Skybus standard gauge metro rail will provide the same rail capacity because after all it is also the same railway, but much improved as it is safer from being capsize-free and an Indian design.

The standard argument of metro rail “experts” that there is no safety certification is a bogey to protect self-interest of the high cost metro rail lobby. Please do not fall into this trap. I offer a risk-free solution:

Authorise the inventor, ( it will not help if you authorize Konkan Railway Corporation, who has the physical asset of Skybus created by me, and also patent rights given by me, but not the full knowledge to deliver the Skybus as yet, because I could not transfer technology to them) to find a BOT partner and construct just one or two kilometers of commercial Skybus- entirely at their expense, with an agreement that if the inventor gets the safety certificate as per international norms as applicable for metro rail, then the BOT operator automatically is entitled to complete the Skybus route of not less than 15 km, with the same concession agreement that you are executing for the metro rail parties- with the exception that NO VIABILITY GAP funding is provided for Skybus metro.

Suppose the inventor fails as suspected by the bureaucrats and their “technical consultants”, then still the state gains, because the Skybus civil structure can be used as a ready fly-over having three lanes, to divert all taxis, cars autos, and decongest the road. The BOT operator also will be allowed in such a case to collect limited toll fees to recover his investment. I can assure you this will be nominal amount.

Of course, having constructed and run the first Skybus experimental system, I am confident of delivering the commercial series produced Skybus- if I have a guarantee of at least a 15 km route for the industry to get involved. Certification starts from the very beginning of construction, manufacturing and gets completed at the time of commissioning- that is how Konkan Railway also was got certified by me.

If you listen to me, you will save thousands of crores of public funds which can be more effectively used for sanitation, public health and drinking water with shelters for less privileged persons.

It will look really preposterous, still if states want to stick to the path of wasting thousands of crores, when I am offering you a financially and administratively risk free solution- which you can even inaugurate by March-April 2009 – when the time comes for public to judge your government. History will judge harshly unwise actions of those trusted with power to serve people but who do disservice.

It is time to stop the madness prevailing to suck away precious public funds for such an un remunerative urban transport solution like metro rail of Delhi type, when we have superior technology metro rail in Skybus, which India can proudly show case!

May wisdom prevail to take such a simple honest decision which puts no risk on any one in the state, but benefits all concerned! Courage and honesty provide the key to success!

Yours sincerely,

B. Rajaram FNAE
Dt. 2nd May 2007

Smt. Sonia Gandhi
Indian National Congress
10 Janpath
New Delhi. 110001

PS: If you please visit http://www.atrilab.com/ my URL on the internet, you can actually see the real Skybus running. It is the one I constructed at Margao, Goa with funds from Konkan Railway, and is running now for nearly three years, though an experimental set up.

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Saturday, March 31, 2007

ODA of Japan with their soft loans causing unintended harm to India and technology development!

I am aggrieved that Japan with soft loan support some times can be doing un-intended damage to my country in particular and to technology in general.

The loan assistance to India in particular for urban transport sector, helping the financially unviable metro rail is doing double damage: the administrators of my country are using this soft option to deny implementation of my innovation Skybus Standard gauge metro rail, which is financially viable and will not need the government assistance at all nor any dislocation of built up habitat in a city. ( For more details please visit ( http://skybus.metro.googlepages.com/ http://www.atrilab.com/ www.youtube.com/atrilab )

I have donated all my patent rights to Government of India too!

Urban transport can be redefined and cause paradigm shift by converting the unremunerative urban transport project into remunerative one using this technology of mine. ODA is unintentionally hurting this implementation. The same funds could as well be given to the more urgent sanitation and water supply projects in about 200 cities- this will help our social upliftment and health care costs will reduce if we make our cities more hygienic.

So the sector where ODA can have much superior impact on peoples lives is being denied funds whenever you give funds for urban transport- where today we have the viable solution.

Secondly ODA is ending up doing the greatest disservice by propping up the financial black holes, as well as relatively unsafe metro rail as compared to the new Skybus standard gauge metro rail I constructed and demonstrated already. Unwittingly ODA is falling prey to the lobby adopting corrupt practices within the country which is suppressing our technology innovation which benefits humanity, using ODA money to back up!!

Like World Bank, ODA also should refuse any more assistance to urban transport - if you want to really help then use your influence to promote actively one project of Skybus- I promise you 15% return on the investment!!!! After that you do not have to support any more urban transport projects-- those funds can be used much better to provide urgently needed sanitation and drinking water projects in our cities! -- B. Rajaram M.Tech., FIE.,FNAEInventor Anti-collision/ Skybus TechnologiesIndian Railway Service of Engineers (1970-2005)CE(Goa),Dir(Projects)&MD Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd.,(1990-2005)My Hand Phone:+91 9346 555550 Land Line: +91 40 27400365 INDIAIn USA 1 703 835 9025 (roaming)URL: http://www.atrilab.com/Einstein said, "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." DIRECTOR Atri Knowledge Embedded Infrastructure Lab.(P) Ltd., United House, Public Garden Rd.,Hyderabad 500001 http://rajaram.bojji.googlepages.com/bojjirajaram

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