A week after a fire gutted Monorail coaches at the Mysore Colony station, services are yet to resume. Officials said commuters would not be able to travel on the Chembur-Wadala route for another week. Officials are, meanwhile, hopeful about meeting the December deadline for phase II of the project.
“Testing for phase II has been stopped after the fire. So, our schedule for testing has been pushed back by a week or so. But we will approach the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) soon for certification and we hope to begin operations by the end of the year,” said Sanjay Khandare, the Additional Metropolitan Commissioner, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
Phase I services will resume only after the inquiry committee, headed by P S Baghel, retired Commissioner of Railway Safety, Western Circle, submits its report on the incident. “The inquiry is on and they (committee members) have identified some areas. They will submit the report in another six days,” Khandare said.
With two coaches gutted in the fire, the MMRDA will have to begin phase II with only seven rakes. “We have 10 rakes in total. But only eight are functioning — six are running and two are on standby,” Khandare said. Of the eight, one had been damaged in the blaze. “Now, we will have to start services with seven trains. It will be difficult. But we will have to find a way out. The process is on to replace parts that have minor issues,” Khandare added.
Running on the 20 km-long corridor, from Jacob Circle to Chembur, with only seven rakes will mean reduced frequency. To run the entire corridor smoothly, the MMRDA requires 15 rakes. Efforts are being made to replace the damaged parts of the two dysfunctional rakes and five rakes are expected to arrive only after a year, sources said.