Nitin Gadkari Wants Skybuses For Bengaluru To Decongest Roads. What Is A Skybus?

Nitin Gadkari Wants Skybuses For Bengaluru To Decongest Roads. What Is A Skybus?

To decongest roads in Benagluru, one of the most traffic-congested city in the world, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday proposed introducing skybuses like in the Philippines and other countries, PTI reported.

“It is difficult to widen the existing roads in Bengaluru. So, we have taken two decisions. We will not acquire land but we will build three-deck or grade separators as was done in Chennai,” Gadkari told reporters.

“We are working on public transport on electricity. Technology has changed a lot. It’s difficult to acquire land in Bengaluru. So, I suggested the use of skybus like in the Philippines and other countries,” the Union Transport Minister further said.

For construction of skybuses, Gadkari has directed the officials of the National Highway Authority of India to consult experts in the world.

“We are studying it (skybus) and we want to do it. If lakhs of people travel in the sky then the problem below will be solved,” PTI quoted Gadkari as saying.

However, this is not the first time that a skybus project is being talked about in India. A skybus system was proposed to be constructed in Goa previously. But it was scrapped in 2016. 

What Is A Skybus?

A skybus is an economical, eco-friendly urban mass transit system similar to the Metro. However, it consists of an elevated track with the cables or cars suspended below. A skybus is similar to the Wuppertal Schwebebahn or H-Bahn transport system in Germany.

Skybuses can travel at a speed of around 100km/h and run on electric. It also needs less expensive civil infrastructure than the metro and is relatively cheaper to run.

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This upside down configuration of the skybus leverages gravity to bind the carriage wheels and the tracks inseparably in an enclosed concrete box, eliminating the possibility of either derailment or capsising, IANS had reported.

Does India Have A Skybus Transport System?

Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had announced a skybus project for Goa as a New Year gift in 2003. However, the project, worth Rs 100 crore, failed to take off. 

The pilot project, under the first phase, was to have linked Mapusa with Panaji, with the initial route stretching 10.5 km.

However, in 2016, Konkan Railways Corporation scrapped the skybus project as it might not be “commercially viable”.

“The project required huge investment to the tune of Rs 100-150 crore and we were not sure whether it would be commercially viable,” IANS had quoted then KRCL’s chairman and managing director Sanjay Gupta as saying.

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