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

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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Blogger Engr. B. Rajaram ;Inventor ACD/Skybus said...

Can there be more rational and practical approach? Why our country has rulers who refuse to acknowledge and remain indifferent to public cause!

7:20 AM  
Blogger wiseman said...

I could travel in it once/twice for fun. But I wont be a regular commuter. The reason is simple. If a commuter train on tracks derail the casualties are not high (unless on a bridge or a head on collision). But if a skybus suffers any such mishap....(I don't need to complete). This is a high maintenance project. I don't trust governments that don't even cover the man-holes to maintain this infrastructure properly.

In short, great idea for theme parks but wont subscribe this for serious commuting.

8:59 PM  
Blogger Engr. B. Rajaram ;Inventor ACD/Skybus said...

Seems to have not understood the physics and engineering of the system. It is a railway. If millions continue to travel by railway, then there is no reason why some one should hesitate to travel by Skybus- which is even safer than existing railway. It is a non-emotional and pure technical issue- if you believe Newton's principle are OK, then feelings have no place on this issue. Any way an international safety certifying agency - a third party- which certified the Maglev will certify for safety, so there is no concern to apply own limited knowledge and feelings to a serious technology like railway transport, which is Skybus. Skybus is a wiseman's choice!!

9:53 PM  
Blogger Deepali Bhatia said...

I have one doubt in this whole scheme. Building a mass rapid transit system involves huge cost. There are various packages involved for the rolling stock, civil works etc. You have proposed a trial run of 1 km. I dont think its feasible to build 1 km track and not be sure of whether you will be able to utilise it for the purpose of running your transit system. This is purely from the perspective of time, cost involved and the infeasibility of building a 1 km standalone stretch.

2:10 AM  
Blogger Engr. B. Rajaram ;Inventor ACD/Skybus said...

Reference Deepali Bhatia's comment:
Actually construction of 1.6 km track and testing for dynamics, the only question to be settled, was over in Dec 2004. The result is well established. The commercial one kilometer is actually like constructing a model flat - for showing off commercial purpose, because test tracks for engineering study as available at Goa, cannot be appreciated by common man unless we add all the normal frills and also got through the certification process as normally done for any railway.

2:20 AM  

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