AI-IA merger done in haste, says Parliamentary panel

The decision to merge national carriers Air India and Indian Airlines was taken in haste, without required consultation and homework, says the Parliamentary panel headed by Sitaram Yechury

A Parliamentary Committee on Thursday said that the decision to merge national carriers Air India and Indian Airlines was taken in haste, without required consultation and homework, reports PTI.

"As a result, the entire process has, in fact, been unduly delayed, if not derailed," the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture has noted. The Committee looked into the merger of the two airlines and its impact on the domestic aviation industry.

"In the process, it has given rise to so many problems concerning financial, administrative and operational (issues), which could not be foreseen by the people who took this decision," the Committee said.

The Committee, headed by senior politician Sitaram Yechury, felt that these inherent contradictions of human resources and aircraft type existing within the National Aviation Company of India Ltd (NACIL), the entity formed after the merger, have become a major stumbling block in achieving the required economies of scale and increased leverage.

While Air India has a Boeing-based fleet, Indian Airlines primarily has Airbus jets and the engineers and operating crew of the two carriers are not equipped to service both aircraft types.

Both Air India and Indian Airlines had drawn up their own aircraft acquisition plans before the decision on the merger was taken, further impeding the process, the Committee noted.



Shadi Katyal

7 years ago

It was well known that Indian Airline was loosing its shirt to Jet airways and Air India was already being rejected even by educed Indians. 70% of foreign traffic was in hands of all foreign carriers.
The service and rudeness abound as both lines are PSU and India never utilized all the positions given to them as they lack new planes.
Most of the experienced pilots left for either foreign airlines or Jet airlines.
The commitee who promoted this joint venture has no experience and doubt if they can even read a business report or would know losses witten under different names.
We have to face that India must get rid of these lines otherwise these elephants and Unions will continue to run it into losses.
Air India has to rebuild it reputation and train staff to learn behavior. One is surprised that these people living in foreign9 countries are still very rude .


7 years ago

It was not only a hasty but ill advsd one. It was trying to mix water n oil to produce milk. The bashing it is (Air India) is receiving from Print n is hurting us -all oldtimers of AI. Has these guardians of National Interest ever checked how much money has gone down the drain in other PSUs. e.g take ITI how much financial support has been provided in the last 5 years to this PSU. I am not complaing about it. But then why hammer Air India? There is a lot that can be said and written. Just see what ex MD mr. Thulasidas is now saying in his publicopen n restricted communications.

NHAI to open bidding for road projects worth Rs25,000 crore in Feb

NHAI’s 15 road projects worth Rs25,000 crore will come up for financial bidding this February

National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is expected to open road projects worth Rs25,000 crore for financial bidding in February.

According to industry sources, NHAI will open financial bidding for around 15 road projects, worth Rs25,000 crore, in the second week of February. These 15 projects include a good mix of both annuity-based as well as toll-based projects. The value of the annuity-based projects could be as high as Rs2,000 crore each. Similarly, each toll-based project value would be about Rs1,000 crore.

All these projects are being planned across the country with no specific concentration in any particular state or region. Many of these projects would involve conversion work of two lanes to four lanes and six lanes. Some of them are also likely to be four-lane roads being converted to six lanes. The qualification procedure has already been completed for these projects.

With just two months left for the end of FY10, more road projects are likely to come up for financial bidding. Major road development companies expect a large number of projects to be awarded before March this year.

Kamal Nath, Union minister for road and transport, plans to achieve a target of 20 km of road development per day by April 2010. The minister has set a target of 7,000 km of road development per year for the road ministry. Moneylife had earlier reported on the minister’s plans to invite bids for road projects worth $20 billion to meet this ambitious road development target.




7 years ago

It seems more than 6 months will be reqd. for award

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Monorail not a good option, says expert

The monorail is not a mass-transit system, involves high maintenance cost and cannot take heavy loads, says an expert

The country’s first monorail planned in Mumbai will have four cars instead of eight. An expert believes that the term ‘monorail’ is actually a misnomer.

“(The) monorail is a misnomer. It actually runs on rubber tyres. The loading density is no better than a bus. Only steel wheels on steel rails can optimally carry (more) load,” said Rajaram Bojji, former managing director, Konkan Railway.

The number of cars for phase I of the monorail on the 20-km route from Jacob Circle to Chembur via Wadala has been reduced to four from the earlier eight. Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) engineers have been quoted by newspapers saying that sharp turns on the route were responsible for the reduction of the number of cars to four. MMRDA’s official stand is that the present capacity (number of cars) of the monorail is based on the estimated number of commuters and their needs.

Reduction in the number of cars also means that the monorail would be carrying fewer passengers. This in turn will not help to ease the traffic woes for commuters who are expecting relief from their daily commuting problems. With the reduction of cars, per passenger fare would also go up, thus making the monorail a white elephant.

Mr Bojji, who invented the Skybus in 2001, said, “(The) monorail was never meant to be a mass transit system. It is technically a mistake to have cleared the project. The maintenance intensity and costs are high and you will realise soon what others did a long time back. It (the monorail) is good for exhibition grounds, airport areas, and short-distance transits for limited throughputs.”

Ergo, the monorail in Mumbai may just become another tourist attraction, but would not help ease the commuting and traffic problems of the city.

“Mumbai can be provided with safer, rail-based fast mass transit for 60 lakh passengers, who commute every day, at less than Re1 per km in air-conditioned comfort, without any viability gap funding from the government, at a cost of Rs6,000 crore. But the government is planning to spend Rs20,000 crore to achieve much less and (is) endangering road safety too,” added Mr Bojji.

“The Skybus can deliver the same throughputs as the regular heavy metro rail, because it is designed to match the rate of commuter arrival with despatch of Skybus units,” explained Mr Bojji.{break}

This in turn could have helped increase passenger load in comparison to the monorail. Skybus can handle 20,000 to 80,000 passengers per hour per direction (PHPD). On the other hand, monorail with four cars has a capacity of 8,000 to 12,000 PHPD, as per the MMRDA website.

According to Mr Bojji, Skybus is also cost-effective compared to the monorail. The Mumbai monorail is being developed at a cost of Rs2,460 crore for a 19.5-km stretch, which translates to more than Rs100 crore per km. In comparison, the test track for the Skybus at Goa—along with rolling-stock units, two traverses and a station—was constructed at an average cost of less than Rs36 crore per km within 6 months.

“The cost/benefit analysis for monorail is the worst and it is amazing that someone made this choice. For a cost close to that of the monorail, one can have the Skybus to deliver heavy throughputs like metro rail. The Skybus is also four times more profitable than monorail,” added Mr Bojji.

A Skybus metro for a city like Mumbai would have also helped address problems like space availability. There are a number of skywalks proposed and developed at various parts across the city to ease pedestrian traffic. The Skybus could have helped address this problem with less capital cost and minimal land procurement issues.

“With a service on a per minute basis and point-to-point connectivity along the road with the Skybus, there would have been no incentive to take the skywalk and thus there would have been no requirement for the same. The 11-metre pathway or ‘skytop’ could have been utilised for shopping or as a disaster management zone. The ‘skytop’ also provides a parallel pathway on top without interfering with traffic,” explained Mr Bojji. The ‘skytop’ is the open space available above the tracks developed for the Skybus.

The Indian government chose to develop the metro rail and monorail in the country based on foreign models. However, it has constantly shied away from Indian patented models like the Skybus. The Skybus could have proved to be a cheaper and more efficient transport system for a city like Mumbai.

In addition, the Skybus could have proved safer in comparison to the monorail and the metro rail. “Skybus is a specifically designed and customised railway and uses the same heavy metro rail modules which are configured to make it derailment-free and take sharper turns to follow roads. With its advanced technologies, it enhances safety not only for Skybus passengers, but also for the road users below. Both conventional metro and monorail lack these advanced features,” Mr Bojji explained. In August 2009, a Delhi metro train derailed near the Dwarka station.

In 2001, the then president of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and his team examined the Skybus concept, upheld and recommended the same to the government. The safety case visualisation as required by Dr Kalam was also completed by Dr Anil Kakodkar, Dr P Ramarao and a working commissioner of railway safety—all of whom declared that safety-wise, the Skybus was better than the railway.

Despite all these tests and recommendations, the authorities have decided to opt for the monorail system, and have completely sidelined the indigenous Skybus. The government itself holds the patent for the Skybus.

“When engineers join a gang to bleed the country, (facilities like) the Delhi Metro are the result. (It is) over-priced and under-performing, (and a) financially bleeding white elephant,” concluded Mr Bojji.



ajay kondekar

7 years ago

if you see the map of future mono-rail , it is not for common man. most crowded path like church-gate virar , cht -kasara-karjat are not consider .
As i working in andheri -seepz , i know how much commuter turn-over between Andheri-Seepz-Kanjurmarg .but instead they plan Versova -Ghatkoper.
Happy Republic Day
Hopes for Real Re ( public) day in coming future.....

Jai Hind!!!


7 years ago


pray parihar

7 years ago


Thierry Arora

7 years ago

I can't help but feel as though Mr. Boji is attempting to put the Monorail down as an overpriced and pointless solution, as he has a stake in the Skybus concept and would have much rather had that up and running instead!

Cynical? I think not.

Kim Pedersen

7 years ago

With all due respect, Mr. Boji is repeating the same lies about monorail that have been stated for decades. If they are such a bad idea, why do they operate successfully in so many cities? Boji slights monorail as an amusement ride, which ignores the dozens of successful urban monorails around the world. The planners of Mumbai Monorail have NOT made an error, and this will be demonstrated once the system is operating.

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