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Govt gives nod for Skybus project
July 21, 2006 17:45 IST
The Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd has secured the government's approval to go ahead with its dream Skybus project, which had hit a roadblock following a fatal accident during a 2004 test run.
"We have been given the clearance by the Railway Ministry to go ahead with the project," a KRCL official said.
Questions had been raised about the project's safety after the Skybus collided with a pillar, killing a Konkan Railway employee on September 25, 2004, during a test run at Goa.
The Ministry of Urban Development had formed a Technical Advisory Group, which submitted its report last year. The group comprised of government officials and officers from the Konkan Railway.
Based on the recommendations of the technical group, the Railway Ministry has given its approval to Konkan Railway to go ahead with its trial runs and make necessary changes for the safety of the project.
The trial runs had been discontinued after the accident. Now that the Railway Ministry has given its approval, consultations will begin with Konkan Railway officials to get safety certification for the project, the KRCL official said.
"We will have to get safety certification from some authorities and bring about changes in the project," he said.
KRCL had spent Rs 50 crore (Rs 500 million) on the project, hoping that Goa would be the first state to use it. But the central government clearance for the project became a hurdle after the accident. Last year, Goa government had derailed the dream project by going in for a new monorail project.
Goa Chief Minister Pratapsingh Rane had said that the state had given up on the Skybus project, saying it cannot wait forever for the Skybus technology.
The Skybus metro system was developed by Konkan Railway as an answer to the traffic congestions on city roads.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation managing director E Sreedharan also said that the Konkan Railway needs to perfect the Skybus techonology. "Skybus project is yet to be proved by the Konkan Railway," he said.
At one point of time, several large and mini metropolitan cities were factoring the sky bus in their urban transportation plans.
In August 2001, the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee cleared a massive programme to develop the Skybus in eight cities - Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad. Other cities like Goa, Coimbatore and Kochi had also viewed the Skybus with favour.