English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Will Nitin Gadkari finally announce sky bus service for Indian cities?

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari undertakes test ride of the sky bus in Sharjah (Image courtesy: PIB)

Will Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari finally look at launching a sky bus service in India soon? The minister today undertook a test ride of the sky bus in Sharjah to experience the safety and evacuation demonstration. With Gadkari’s ride on the sky bus, many are now speculating that a formal announcement of the launch of the service in India could happen soon.

“While skybus technology is not very simple, Gadkari may look at launching a skybus for a short route to test waters,” a person with knowledge on the matter told India Narrative. “It may not happen immediately but the good thing is that the government is looking at the option,” the person said.

Notably, the minister last year said that he was looking to launch sky bus services in a few cities in India, a move that will not only reduce traffic congestion but also address pollution.

While addressing an event organised by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) last year, Gadkari said, “I want to start sky buses (mass transit service) from Dhaula Kuan to Manesar and later extend it to Sohna to reduce traffic and pollution.” Gadkari also asked his team to do a feasibility study. Separately he has also shown an interest to launch the sky bus service in Bengaluru and Varanasi.

This is not the first time India is looking at starting sky bus services. The idea was first mooted by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 2003. The late Prime Minister wanted to launch the service in Goa. While the project was undertaken by Konkan Railways Corporation, it was aborted since the company found it commercially unviable at that time.

Sky bus, more like a metro but running on elevated tracks, offers a sustainable, congestion-free urban mobility solution, reducing pollution and traffic congestion while providing efficient mobility for urban residents. Moreover, its elevated rail cable system minimizes land use, making it a valuable addition to the nation’s mobility infrastructure. Importantly, it is eco-friendly as it runs on electricity.  It can have a speed up to 100 Km/hr.

“Today the situation is different from what it was back then during the Vajpayee government. Issues related to climate change are real and that apart decongestion of roads is an area which is being seriously looked at,” the person said.

For India, which is aiming to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2070, a successful Skybus service will be a boost to its efforts.

Earlier, Gadkari noted that construction of highways has gained unprecedented momentum in the last five years.

In 2018-19, highways with a total length of 10,900 km were constructed. In 2019-20 construction of 10,200km was undertaken. In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, the minister said that in 2020-21, the length was further increased to 13,300 km while it was 10,500km in 2021-22 followed by 10,300km in 2022-23.

Also read: Gadkari unveils World’s 1st electric flex fuel vehicle prototype compliant with BS-6 norms