INDIA’S first Monorail, currently running at a loss, is likely to be the first transportation service to be operated by a wholly owned company of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
Sources said the contract to operate the monorail increasingly appears unviable. The Monorail Phase 1 currently runs between Chembur and Wadala. The second phase, from Jacob Circle to Wadala, is expected to be ready by the end of January 2019.
While Monorail Phase 1 is currently operated by Scomi International, the MMRDA this year floated tenders for operating both monorail corridors. While the lowest bidder was IL&FS, its estimated contract value was Rs 200 crore per year for 10 years. The tender process has now been scrapped, with the MMRDA top brass feeling such a large contract would not be feasible.
While plans had been made to once again float tenders for operating and maintaining the overall Monorail project, that plan now has been put on hold.
A senior MMRDA official said, “Our target is to start the second phase of the Monorail by January 2019. Before starting that we are moving to establish an MMRDA-owned company, which could start handling the Monorail operations and functions.”
Sources said the company, to be named MMOCL (Mumbai Metro Operations Corporation Limited), will look after all the Metro and Monorail corridors that will come up in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. A start-up capital of Rs 5 crore will be given by the MMRDA and the company is set to have its headquarters at Aarey Colony. All revenue from the operations of Metro and Monorail corridors will accrue to this company, including ticketing and non-ticketing revenue. Profits will be used by MMRDA for repaying loans taken for construction of these projects.