EVEN as the Chembur-Wadala monorail is scheduled to be commissioned this year,the second phase of the corridor from Wadala to Jacob Circle still faces hurdles,with the citys development authority not in a position to complete the piling work before monsoon.
Utilities entrenched underground on the stretch between Bharatmata Junction and N M Joshi Marg,Lower Parel,are slowing down work on the pile foundations.
A pile foundation,encompassing piles and pile caps,is the basis of the construction as it transfers the structural load to the strata below the ground.
There are several utilities on the stretch that we have to tackle. Even so,there are only ten pile foundations we may not be able to complete before monsoon, said Ashwini Bhide,additional metropolitan commissioner,MMRDA.
An engineer working on the project said the underground utilities,such as gas,sewerage,water and telephone lines,is much below the railway line,with some as deep as 20 feet below the ground.
We are working on shifting the MTNL utility line,which is at the top of the multiple levels of utilities on the stretch. This is the crux of the problem. Usually,utilities are not more than four metres or nearly 13 feet below the ground, he said,adding that 95 per cent of the piling work would be completed before monsoon.
MMRDA,the nodal agency for monorail project,had earlier expected to reopen the Currey Road overbridge,which has been shut for traffic since December,by this month or May.
Ideally,we would like to open the bridge after work there is completed but this may cause problems during monsoon. So,based on the advice of traffic authorities,the Currey Road bridge may be opened during the monsoon and closed again for the remaining work, said Bhide.
Work has been progressing rapidly up to Bharatmata Junction,where the MMRDA has finished launching guideway beam,on which the monorail runs,on nearly 80 per cent of the stretch.
The development agency is also awaiting a final approval from Central Railway to take the monorail line over suburban railway tracks at Wadala and Currey Road.
The railways have approved the general arrangement drawings. The Commissioner of Railway Safety is examining the launching scheme, said Bhide.
The construction of Wadala-Jacob Circle monorail line,being undertaken by a consortium of Larsen & Toubro and Malaysias Scomi Engineering,had started in 2008,almost simultaneously with the commencement of the construction of the first phase from Chembur to Wadala.
MMRDA is planning to open Wadala-Jacob Circle monorail for public use a year after commissioning of the first phase,which is expected in August or September.