Although the first phase of the citys first Monorail will be opened to the public by September-end,commuters will have to initially climb long flights of stairs or wait in queues for the elevator to reach stations of the elevated corridor,as escalators will not initially be available.
MMRDA will be able to instal escalators on Monorail stations of the Chembur-Wadala line only by the year-end. This is mainly because having escalators was not part of the original contract and was introduced later.
Although we started work on escalators much later,the delay was mainly because of issues in getting land to set up the escalators at certain places. We also had to spend time deciding on specifications and variations and getting them approved by the state government, an official working on the Monorail project said.
MMRDA had decided to instal escalators on the Monorail only mid-last year,more than three years after the construction of the 20-km Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle corridor had started.
The development authority recently resolved its land acquisition issues for the installation of the escalators and placed an order for the machines. There were issues in getting right of way primarily at two places – near Chembur monorail station and at the V N Purav Marg station. At Chembur station,there were five residential structures that were coming in the way with which the MMRDA had to negotiate.
They have now agreed to shift to the alternative accommodation that is being offered to them. They are in the process of vacating the premises,after which we will start the pile foundations there, the official said,adding the foot overbridge to Chembur railway station from the Monorail station was also held up owing to this issue.
At V N Purav Marg,however,there would be escalators at only one side initially as the land where the MMRDA was planning to install an escalator on has been recently demarcated as road in the development plan,the official added.
At all the other stations,the contractor has finished constructing the pile foundations so that when the escalators arrive,they can be set up at the earliest.