After sending the proposal back and forth for more than three years, the Central Railway has recently given the go-ahead to the city’s development authority to take the second phase of the Mumbai monorail above the suburban railway tracks, clearing one of the main hurdles.
With the railway’s approval in the bag, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) expects to complete the project by the end of 2015.
UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner at the MMRDA, said, “The Central Railway gave a clearance last month to construct the monorail viaduct over the railway tracks at Currey Road. Work on the piers has started.”
The MMRDA needed the Central Railway’s clearance for the second phase of the monorail from Wadala to Jacob Circle near Mahalaksmi at two places —Wadala and Currey Road. The development authority had received a green signal for the Wadala crossing, where the work is already underway, a few months ago. However, the clearance for the Currey Road crossing was delayed further due to a confusion between the railway and the MMRDA.
Although the development authority was pushing for the clearances since 2011, it came to light only in June this year that the designs that it had submitted did not take into consideration the planned fifth and sixth lines of the railways between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Kurla junction. The Commissioner of Railway Safety, who is the final authority for granting an approval, had noticed the overlap and had asked the MMRDA to give an explanation, and subsequently modify the design.
Even after the railway clearances, the project still has a few land acquisition issues to tackle along the alignment.
The Wadala-Jacob Circle monorail line would be the second phase of the 19.5-km Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle monorail corridor. The 8.8-km first phase from Chembur to Wadala was opened for public use in February this year. The MMRDA had earlier expected the entire corridor, for which the work had started in 2008, to be commissioned in 2011.