The Konkan Railway on 4 August 2013 decided to scrap Skybus project due to the absence of qualified bidders and financial constraints. The decision was taken at a Konkan Railway board meet. The Konkan Railway invited global expression of interest for the project twice but did not get any favorable response.
The board also decided that the 1.6-km-long test track structure built at a cost of 50 crore rupees at Madgaon in Goa would also be dismantled and sold off.
About the Skybus project
• The Skybus project, the first-of-its-kind in India, is a modified rail with overhead tracks on the underside of a concrete structure at a height of about 10 m from the ground.
• The Skybus project was announced by former Prime Minister of India, A B Vajpayee, as New Year gift to Goa in 2003. The pilot project was to connect Mapusa to Panaji. It was supposed to be a 10.5 km route in the first phase.
• The Skybus trial runs were conducted at a 1.6 km long test-track at Madagaon. However, a mishap occurred on 25 September 2004 during its trial at Goa. This accident raised serious concerns about passenger safety, forcing the authorities to re-evaluate the system.
• Though the Konkan Railway had tried to revive the project on its own after the global expression of interests failed to evoke the desired response so that it could not be materialised due to financial constraint.
The Konkan Railway line runs along the Konkan coast (West coast) between India’s commercial capital, Mumbai and Mangalore. The 741-kilometre line connects Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka States.