Urban Transport Wisdom

Challenge faced by Urban administrators-An objective process to get right solution- refuse to promote metro rail or Skybus or mono-rail or guided buses! Pray Promote public interest!

 Mr. Bojji Rajaram F.N.A.E

 Skybus Metro Rail :

  • Standard Gauge Rail tracks
  • 100 kmph standard gauge 12 ton/14 ton axle load powered bogies -same as used in metro rails with 4x110/115 Kw asynchronous 3 ph AC motors
  • Underframe- fit to take crushloads of regular main line coaches- more than 70t
  • Each train unit 20m long with two driving bogies- the coach divided into 9.5 m long connected thru door
  • Simple three aspect signal system driven by line of sight by motorman, with additional safety layer of Raksha Kavach, cpable of providing 40 sec headway- but planned 60 sec.
  • The reversal for the Skybuses at terminal points, to change tracks or go to depots happens through traversers- mechanical auto driven systems capable of handling 50m consists of Skybus units.
  • Stations are 50m long to handle three units of Skybus, covering next 25 years of requirements-though initially only 20m length is needed.
  • Access is from existing footpaths, climb limited to 6 m for passengers- within 500 to 600m from wherever you are on the road having Skybus route.
  • Can be designed for 20m radius of turning radius, and vertical lift, if needed- thus we can avoid totally demolition of any built up urban property, if needed.
  • Each Skybus unit 20m long having two compartments( 3.25mx9.5m) of 9.5 m , can carry almost 400 persons
  • Maintenance is through continuous monitoring of vibration signatures, and directed by need automatically by computerised systems- much more advanced than existing manual inspections only and periodic checks.
  • All the sub-systems /elements are to existing UIC/Indian Railway codal practics applicable to railway transport.
  • Cargo of standard containers are automatically delivered and cleared into and out of city.
  • Will carry international class safety certification by renowned world class safety certifiers.
  •  For typical installation to handle 40,000 passengers peak load per hour, on a double line, the cost on turn key basis will be Rs 55 to 60cr per km, and construction period less than 3 years, for a minimum module of 10 km route.

 

Skybus Standard Gauge Metro Rail system- description. specifications and Guide-lines to states on how to adopt!


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Urban area administrators today are facing a serious dilemma. They face a choking city and conflicting offers of impossible solutions. In brief they face:

 

Ø      Responsibility to solve current chaotic transport problem

o       Roads congested with excessive number of road vehicles

o       Low speeds causing pollution and loss of millions of productive man-hours

Ø      Inability to increase road space

Ø      Lack of funds

Ø      Being called administrators – force themselves to depend on “experts” or “consultants” – who are likely to be pushers of vested interests

 

The solution depends on whom you choose as your consultant.

 

The technical/ knowledge world has different categories of persons, like all doctors are not the same- all engineers and consultants are not the same. Specialisation has to be distinguished.

 

For example for solving blood circulation problem, in a large hospital, the Doctor experienced as administrator and procurer of required hospital equipment cannot be the right choice – in case you choose, because he has been efficient in his work, what you get is what is contained in the suppliers marketing literature, as advice. So multiple solutions driven by products, appear.

 

Levels of technical competence are distinguished by

 

Ø      Research and creative activity

Ø      Design as per standards

Ø      Execution through

o       procurement as per specifications and standards.

o       and contract management

Ø      Maintenance / operational 

 

Technology Evolution:  We must understand difference between a research project & an innovative design to  existing standards using well tested proven components. For example  a maglev project is a research project- but constructing  a  new building/ ship/ rail based system  is a design project, like Skybus metro rail.

 

The dilemma is to take advice from whom?

 

Ø      If you take from Procurers and Project managers you get

o       Off the shelf aggressively marketed solution

o       Powerful established lobbies blur your view

Ø      If you take from proven designers and innovators

o       Worried to become a guinea pig in case it is new technology though sounds nice

o       Face also violent opposition from  established players in the highly competitive market who do have market strength

 

So one should have norms defined to discipline self to get the right advice

Ø      Define what you want

Ø      Define the minimum safety requirements to be certified at internationally accepted levels

Ø      Hold the consultants/experts accountable and fix penal provisions for any misleading wrong advice

Ø      Choose only those who have proven record of design/ technical contributions in their areas

Ø      Check for back ground and eliminate procurers and project managers or operational executives even if  they had worked for government, from your team of advisors- they are least qualified to render advice, because of their knowledge driven by marketing literature of equipment suppliers.

 

What do we want, in solving problem of transport?

 

Ø      People: Comfortable. Safe travel at reasonably high speed at affordable prices for the city dwellers

Ø      Cargo: City needs cargo supplies- an environment friendly system to eliminate trucks from roads

Ø      Services: Municipal house keeping functions to be handled hygienically and efficiently

 

For People

 

Ø      Easy access within one km to be reduced to 500m on the existing roads

Ø      Almost no waiting time( less than 1min) – air condition travel with potential 100kmph speeds

Ø      Affordable as compared to existing modes

Ø      Assurance of safety not only for those who use the system, but also for road users.

Ø      Minimum noise pollution and emissions

Ø      Scalability for next 100 years requirement

 

For Cargo

 

Ø      The system should take care of containerised or bagged cargo and be able to deliver the cities’ cargo to different locations.

Ø      If possible can trucks be transported, eliminating them from roads?

 

City house keeping functions

 

Ø      Since system follows exactly the roads, it is desirable if automated systems can be operated to clean and wash the roads

Ø      As the city grows one major concern is management of city refuse- if the system can help automate the removal of containerised refuse of the city, a major hygienic concern is addressed.

 

As public servants we are concerned as to how to protect public interest. One must insist:

 

Ø      Third party international class safety certification to guarantee:

Ø      At no time the system will endanger the lives of commuters

Ø      No collateral damage to any road users and properties along the road, because of allowing the system to follow the roads- either elevated or underground

Ø      Credible disaster management system for safe evacuation of commuters

Ø      Least public/debt support requirement

Ø      Consultants or advisors to be made criminally liable for their recommendations, if found to be against public interest.

 

Objectivity and clarity

 

Ø      Administrators with good intentions should demand that :

o       Not a single building, garden, habitat be dislocated by the solution

o       Least or almost no land causing dislocation of previous occupant be required

o       Only existing transport zone in the form of roadways be utilised- and the city be not disfigured

Ø      Solution should not cause further introduction of new road based vehicles on the system, which already is congested.

Ø      Remedy chosen shall not be worse than the problem

 

Administrators cannot abdicate their responsibility to apply mind. Just calling some one as consultant,( not any way accountable for views),  then allow wastage of public funds has to be viewed seriously. 

 

As an experienced public servant and the inventor of Skybus technology of India, I have a duty to clarify and state facts, in public interest- technology rights are assigned by me to the Government through a public sector undertaking, (Konkan railway), hence I state in public interest: 

 

First please understand the fact that Skybus metro rail is NOT a research project- but an innovative design project satisfying proven standards of construction and operations applicable to railway systems. So in technical terms Skybus is Pre-certified.

 

Ø      Uses only the existing roadways- but does not occupy the existing traffic lanes.

Ø      No demolition of any building or asset required, almost no land requirement

Ø      Stations at 1km distance possible, without disturbing any local existing assets

Ø      Handles cargo as well as the house keeping functions

Ø      Scalable from light railway loads to heavy metro capacity, seamlessly

Ø      Controls noise pollution

Ø      Has the best disaster management solutions for evacuation

Ø      Only railway system which provides guarantee against derailments and losing control from rail tracks, while providing high speed 100kmph speeds.

Ø      By design and construction the safest improved railway in the world using well proven, time tested elements satisfying the prescribed international norms.

Ø      It is a case of Innovative design project, pre-certified because observes existing standards and NOT a research project.

Ø      Valuable experience gained while putting up and testing the Skybus, including handling of a disaster, prove all the points, and post accident safety trials have confirmed the superiority of the technology while being simple.

Ø      Actual costs of construction establish that at half the capital cost of current solution, the system provides double the level of performance, compared to conventional metro rail.

Please visit www.atrilab.com to get typical third party consultancy reports prepared for some cities, for financial viability.

 

Urban administrators are concerned about public Safety & Funding.

 

Ø      Skybus technology is Pre-certified as each and every element and sub-assembly as well as a system satisfies the same safety codal provisions.

Ø      TuV Rheinland Germany , the premier undisputed leaders in the world for safety certification, are associated to assure.

Ø      Without Government funds nor guarantees for debt, private funds will put up the superior Skybus Metro rail- in a short period of hardly 3 years for a 20 to 30 km network.

Ø      Malaysian technology partners are ready to fund the SMART  Hyderabad fully, Skybus Accentuated Metro Rail of 20km length.

Ø      The technology belongs to India- I as inventor assigned the rights to President of India, through Konkan Railway Corporation- so as State authorities you have comfort of trusting another Public Sector Undertaking for delivering the Skybus Metro to you. The royalty benefits go to people of our country.

Ø      The State chooses private BOT operator, and Konkan Railway and associates will provide the technology back up and see that the project is delivered.

 

So what is the way forward- straightaway adopt Skybus as a favour to me?

NO ! Please do not get involved with promoting any technology product; neither heavy metro rail nor mono-rail, nor guided buses nor Skybus etc etc - but challenge the technical prowess in the country and the world by demanding what is best for the public:

 

Ø      Choose your consultants who are truly knowledgeable, avoiding procurement specialists and maintenance technicians, who may have vested interests or limited by experience.

Ø      Do not specify technology- but emphasise your requirements. Demand high speed, safe, mass transit system, scalable for all future ( 100 years), please.

Ø      Specify your requirements for the city to serve not only people but provide capability to handle cargo as well as house keeping functions

Ø      Ban any dismantling of existing buildings and destroying gardens in city

Ø      Demand that the system shall be safe as not to derail nor escape tracks to endanger the safety of the public on the roads & best disaster management– but fix penalties and criminal liability for failing to meet your requirement, as promised.

Ø      Promise no Government funding in the name of viability gap funding nor offer any guarantees for raising debt- at the most offer tax concessions.

Ø      Provide the Legal frame work through Tramway Act and a safety commissioner, who will verify the international certification papers to assure the best international class safety for public, at the time of commissioning and issue Formal Safety Certificate.

 

With the above approach, you need not waste your time with non-issues like whether you need a railway or what gauge is to be used or more serious real concerns like from where you should get funds, or whose properties you end up destroying with social and political implications.

 

You need only route-wise traffic projections and loads to be handled- independent of technology to be adopted, get these figures and call for open bids with the above mentioned requirements to get a BOT operator- your decision will be simple and public interest is best served without tears and fast too.

 

You can provide affordable air condition travel to all without struggling with details of technology choices nor funding problems, within your own time.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

(B. Rajaram)

 

Circulation:

Hon’ble Prime Minister & Cabinet Ministers Govt.of India, Secretariat/LS&RS, Planning Commission, &  Hon’ble Chief Ministers  All States.

Cabinet Secretary, Secretary /MOUD, Finance/Chief Secretaries All states, /  CVC/ CAG

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