At a time when many other Indian cities are firming up their plans to introduce monorail, Mumbai’s development authority has scrapped the plan for its second monorail corridor — from Thane to Kalyan and Bhiwandi. The country’s first monorail — on Mumbai’s Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle route — was inaugurated this month.
The MMRDA has shelved the project citing low ridership estimates and availability of cheaper road transport alternatives.
The development authority had planned a monorail network from Thane to Kalyan and another arm from Thane to Bhiwandi to serve as a feeder system to a Metro project planned in Thane. The MMRDA is going ahead with the Metro corridor from Wadala to Kasarvadavali on Ghodbunder Road in Thane.
U P S Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner at the MMRDA, said: “Having a monorail to connect to the Wadala-Kasarvadavali Metro was the original plan, but it was not found to be feasible. There was not enough ridership on the corridor and we found that a Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) would be a more effective and cheaper option there.”
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The proposed Wadala-Thane-Kasarvadavali Metro has been planned as a 30-km fully-elevated corridor. The 8.8-km corridor from Chembur to Wadala, the first phase of the 19.5-km Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle monorail corridor, has so far been used mainly for joyrides. MMRDA had a master plan of building a monorail network spanning 185 km in Mumbai. However, the plans were put on hold as the state government wanted to see the response to the first corridor.
According to the MMRDA website, the monorail network from Thane to Kalyan and Bhiwandi was to be 23.75 km long with the cost pegged at Rs 3,169 crore. A senior official said the MMRDA had originally decided to implement the Thane monorail as a standalone project providing connectivity to Thane station. The plan was altered to have hybrid connectivity of the Metro rail and monorail from Teen Haath Naka in Thane to Bhiwandi and another arm to Kalyan, he said.