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adopted to think that there is only one solution to solve urban transport- that is by adopting the economically outdated metro rail as done by Delhi.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 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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