While thousands of people are still using the Chembur-Wadala monorail as a joyride each day, this new mode of transportation has found
a small genuine clientele in residents of the sprawling transit camps near Wadala.
However, this clientele is unable to use the monorail for their daily commute due to security concerns.
By occupation, the transit camp residents are mostly carpenters, plumbers and masons wanting to travel to different areas in Chembur for work. They have to carry their work tools, which include sharp metal objects, saws, knives, hammers and chisels, but the sophisticated security systems of the monorail—akin to those seen in Metro rails and monorails across the world—do not permit such tools.
An official of Mumbai Monorail said on the condition of anonymity, “We have come across many such cases. Our security department has had several meetings about how best to accommodate the needs of a certain group of users and the security aspect of the monorail. We have flagged this issue to MMRDA and talks have been going on.”
UPS Madan, metrpolitan commissioner at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), said the authority will see how many such passengers are actually using the monorail, and then take a call on what can be done. “I don’t think there is a very high number of such people using the monorail. We will see first how many people have this requirement. For the time being, we cannot permit those carrying equipment that has sharp objects,” Madan said.
Madhukar Pandey, Additional Commissioner of Police (Protection and Security) said there has to be an ideal balance between security and facilitation for citizens, as the monorail is a service for the public.
Ever since the monorail was opened for public use on February 2, about 15,000 to 20,000 people from all over the city have been queuing up outside stations. In the first week of operations, the monorail had a total of 1,36,865 commuters buying tickets, 1,400 smart cards were sold and the fare box collection crossed Rs.14 lakh.