Goa set to soar

Sky bus project promises to be environment-friendly and economical

By Frederick Noronha
Published: Saturday 15 June 2002

can one steer clear of pollution while commuting? Goa may soon have an answer to this poser if the state government's ambitious sky bus project takes off. A self-propelled vehicle, the sky bus is devised to work on suspended cables. As it is run on electricity, the bus promises to be totally pollution-free.

Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar recently announced that a green light has been given to ocs / Aerobus India for a feasibility project to install the airbus. In its first phase, it will ply between Panaji and the north Goa town of Mapusa -- a distance of 12 kilometres. Designed as modules, these fully air-conditioned vehicles are two to 12 in number and can carry 80 to 320 passengers each.

"The system has been very successful in Germany and Switzerland, and involves a highly versatile mass transit technology," claims Aerobus India president Dinesh Menon.

With a Rs 400-crore pilot project, the company claims that the sky bus can transport over 20,000-30,000 passengers per direction every hour. Currently, the promoters are offering a travelling cost of fifty paise per kilometre. The chief minister said that the government had been trying to acquire a mass transportation system for Goa at a reasonable cost and hence decided on the sky bus project.

Despite being a well-known tourist destination, Goa is notorious for its ineffective mass transport system. Most of the people in the state travel even short distances on two-wheelers, leading to an increase in pollution levels in the state.

In such a scenario, the sky bus project seems to be the ideal solution for the state. In fact commuting may soon be a pleasant experience, with the people getting a bird's eye view of the picturesque coastal city's roads and rivers as they travel.

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