In a major set back to the Konkan Railway Corporation, the Goa government has derailed their dream project, the Skybus, by announcing a new monorail project.
The state government has decided to invite expression of interest from global firms to set up a monorail to link the three major cities of Goa-Panaji, Mapusa and Margao.
The decision is a big blow to KRCL, which had set up a test track two years ago for its prestigious skybus project at Margao in South Goa district.
KRCL had spent Rs 50 crore (Rs 500 million), hoping that Goa would be the first state to use it. But, the central government clearance for the project became a hurdle after an accident during a trial run, which killed an engineer and injured two other employees.
Chief Minister Pratapsingh Rane said that the state had given up on the skybus project. "How many years can we wait for the skybus technology to be approved? We need a clean, efficient, cheap transport system and have to move on to new technologies," he said.
The monorail will use a technology similar to the systems operating in Malaysia and Thailand, and will be set up entirely by the private sector, added the CM.
The system will run on compressed natural gas at a speed of 40-50 kmph and fares are expected to be as competitive as those of buses. The project is being given a time frame of 18 months once the bids are short-listed.The state will have no stake in monorail. Companies bidding for the project will be asked to work-out a feasibility report. The elevated line is to come up along the existing road network said Rane.