Environmental Impact

 Sky Bus Metro : A  holistic, eco-friendly & futuristic indigenous but world class technology for urban transport ( Letter written by theInventor Rajaram Bojji, as Managing Director / Konkan Railway addressed to the Planning Commision and Prime Minister of India in 2002) Now posted to website on 17th March 2007, by the Inventor of Skybus) 

 

Sky Bus Technology is our indigenous innovative rail-based Urban Rapid Mass Transport solution, safer & better than underground or elevated rail metro, NOT requiring any subsidy from Government to:

1.      provide every minute 100 kmph speed mass transport to city commuters in air-condition comfort at less than 50 ps/km while requiring virtually no urban land

2.      save annually Rs 10000 cr  recurring, in fuel imports

3.      prevent urban pollution; stopping current emission of 1750 tonnes of CO per day

4.      requires investment of Rs 25000 cr over 5 years to construct 560 km double line, with additional Rs 5000 cr for augmenting power supply

5.      this entire investment is recovered in three years of saving in fuel bill!

6.      India’s cities become noise-free and pollution free

7.      For next 100 years the urban transport needs are taken care of

Action required:

1.      Sanction in principle the Rs 25000 cr investment proposal on the basis of sale of ROW along city routes, on exclusive basis to Konkan Railway to install and operate the Sky Bus for the various financiers, who fund based on the transfer of rights of way over the city routes.

2.      To enable Konkan Railway to raise the funds against the ROW., GOI to immediately make available  Rs 50 cr this year to implement the Technology demonstration project of Sky Bus Metro.

3.      Konkan Railway will demonstrate the performance of their technology within 12 months, commissioning the 1 km route for service!

 

Since the project is remunerative, once the technology is demonstrated, private participation is assured.

 

Under existing legal system it falls under the tram- way act, operating within municipal limits and therefore, outside the purview of Indian Railway Act.

 

Implemetation of the Sky Bus system in a time bound manner will eliminate foreign exchange out-go of nearly Rs 10000 cr annually recurring, as well as elevate our cities to standards better than Singapore or Malaysia. This will add to value of our currency as the purchasing power of rupee improves because the cost of travel actually comes down with Sky Bus metro and quality of service is of world class.

 

To present our Sky Bus technology , may I request for your help the undersigned to make a presentation to the Hon’ble PM,  in your presence, which I believe, could lead to expedite  decision to implement the Sky Bus, in the cause of our Nation.

 

With regards,

 

   Yours sincerely,

 

 

B. Rajaram

 

Currently Director/ Atri Knowledge Embedded Infrastructure Lab. P. Ltd., 5-9-101/3, Public garden Rd., Hyderabad 500007 AP India Tel: +91 40 2740 0365 email : director@atrilab.com   

 

 

 

 

Need for Urban Transport solution- what Sky Bus Metro can offer:

 

The Sky Bus Metro Project is a technology break-through providing a total solution to the Urban Transport problem.

 

At capital cost of Rs 45 cr per km the scope for implementation of the project is now estimated.- ( for 15000 to 30000 pphpd scalable to 90000 pphpd)

 

In each city having at least 20 lac population urban transport problems arise soon- because the space within city is limited and addition of road vehicles bring down the through puts, reduces average speed , increases pollution.

 

Underground metro has a larger number of  safety concerns than surface rail; in addition to being prone to derailments and capsizing, also suffers from hazardous evacuation problems in case of fire or derailment. The solution is too expensive, four times that of Sky Bus,  and takes too much of time to implement.

 

Elevated light rail systems are noisy and also only as safe as a railway, prone to derailments and capsizing , and  not flexible to adopt to existing road alignments and finally, also almost costs twice that of Sky- Bus.

 

As a thumb-rule if 3 lac commuters are available daily to make two journeys a day, a 10 km route of Sky- Bus route gets financially viable- without subsidy from Govt.

 

Metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune do need to adopt this solution if future growth of city economically is to be ensured while improving quality of life- over next century.

 

The probable route lengths are:

  1. Mumbai   …….120 km
  1. Delhi….………120 km
  2. Kolkata………...60 km
  3. Chennai………...80 km
  4. Bangalore………80 km
  5. Hyderabad……..50 km
  6. Pune……………50 km

 

This adds up to 560 km with an investment of  Rs 25,200 cr.

 

The systm will replace existing systems based on city buses, autos, taxis and even a large number of two wheelers within city area.

 

However the additional power requirement of 100 to 150 MW per city has to be augmented- preferably by location-independent nuclear power to protect against inflation in energy charges. Rs 5000 cr will have to come from NPC for erecting and operating these plants.

 

 

Environmental Benefits:

 

Vehicles in metro areas contribute 70% of  CO , 50% of HC, 30 to 40% of Nox ,30% of SPM, and 10% of SO 2     of total  pollution in the cities. ( Ministry Of Environment and  Forests  1995).

 

Typicaly for Kolkata city , the quantum of pollution because of vehicles in the city is as under:

                                    TDP  ( tonnes per day)

Particulate                              7.7

Carbon monoxide     175.6

Sulphur Dioxide                     26.2

Nitrogen Oxide                      12.9

Hydro Carbon                        18

 

Almost 70% pollution in city is caused by vehicles. Dangerous levels of pollution levels are reached in the city. West Bengal Pollution Control Board gives figures of 820,000 road vehicles in the city , with 4500 further vehicles being added monthly.

 

According to World Bank report,(1996), Mumbai’s air pollution levels particles smaller than 10 microns ( PM 10) were much higher than standards set by the World Health Organisation. Maximum values are SIX times the standards. Same is with nitrogen oxides emissions. The vehicles numbering more than a million, and with density of 500 per sq.km is heading very fast to a very serious crisis. About 69% pollution is due to vehicles.

 

In urban areas the problem is compounded further over and above the density and numbers of vehicles, by the inefficient  driving cycle- which increases both fuel consumption per vehicle as well as emissions.

 

The CARB ( California Air Resources Board ) estimates that at 8 kmph HC emissions are 23 times greater, CO emissions are 13 times greater, and NOx  emissions are about 4 times greater than at 32 kmph ( Federal Urban Driving Schedule average speed). At city-traffic speeds much higher emissions occur

 

The Urban driving cycle includes approximately 18% idle, 39.7% accelerating, 22.7% time decelerating at close throttle, 12% time decelerating under power  and only 7.6% time at steady state speed. Periods of acceleration and deceleration produce extremely high exhaust emissions, and time at idle produce emissions with no benefit of distance being covered. So cities with routes where  one cannot travel at more than 15 kmph to 20 kmph average speeds- account for dangerous levels of pollution as well as inefficient fuel burning costing the nation dearly.

 

Assuming a total of 10 million vehicles for the above mentioned Urban Agglomerations, each consuming 5 litres of fuel a day , on average about 50 million litres of fossil fuel is consumed – adding to that much pollution. Almost 75% of this goes for public transport like buses, taxis and autos. If alternate public transport means are provided, like Sky Bus Metro, we may save this fuel every day.

 

This amounts to about Rs 500 million a day of fuel bill savings- in terms of imports!

Or annually, about Rs 15000 cr – while total import bill is of the order of Rs 60000 cr.

 

So an investment of about Rs 25000 cr in Sky Bus can give a saving of Rs 15000 cr in fuel import bill- recurring annually as also, catapult all our cities to international standards of air quality.

 

But additional power generation for the cities  at the rate of 100 to 150 megawatts for each city has to be provided for.

 

Whether this additional power for each Urban agglomeration is drawn from existing grid supply or plan for captive power plant – will have to be examined.

 

In summary :

·        Over next 5 years invest Rs 25000 cr to install Sky Bus Metros

·        Allocate Rs 5000 cr for additional captive power or augmentation projects

·        Then start saving Rs 10000 cr per annum in import bills for fuels

·        Almost prevent spewing of 1750 tonnes of Carbon emissions per day!

·        Provide air-condition service to people at hardly 50 ps/ km, which if properly structured, can even become virtually free or cost less than 15 ps per km.

 

For the same performance, Sky Bus Metro costs only 30% as compared to Underground metro like Delhi Metro, and costs only 50% as compared to Elevated rail systems.

 

Considering the tremendous impact on our economy because of this technology, it deserves allocation of Rs 400 cr in this year’s general budget - Konkan Railway will demonstrate all the expectations in practice within 18 months of making available the funds on one of the chosen pilot route. All the technologies are indigenously implemented and integrated- India can be placed on the world map as the leader in finding cost effective environment friendly solution to pressing Urban Transport problem.

 

Social concern for the displaced bus /taxi/auto drivers and workers:

 

A taxi or auto owner driver actually takes a loan and operates his vehicle. Similarly companies owning taxis and employing persons to drive also have to invest first in taxis. Now both the categories will use the same money to invest in Sky Bus Metro shares- there is a scheme where for every Rs 15000 invested, the share holder is entitled to a Gold card permitting him almost free travel or at concessional rate of 15 ps/km- so for Rs 2 or 3 lacs  of  investment , one gets 15 or 20  nos of such Gold cards, which convert into single journey cards say, 30 in number, which from a kiosk next to Sky Bus Station he sells to floating population of the city at say Rs 10 or 15 , making a profit of more than Rs300 a day- while sitting in one place. He does not have any worries of maintaining cars or autos. Same goes for the companies owning buses and their workers.  

 

The Sky Bus metro is one single technology which can change the face of our cities, take out almost 10 million road vehicles in the cities and make the cities liveable, improving quality of life and attract and sustain economic activity to generate wealth.