Operating the monorail is set to cost the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) more now with contractors demanding a higher trip rate for resuming the services on Phase I. The consortium of Larsen & Toubro-Scomi Engineering (LTSE) has demanded more than five times the earlier trip rate to run the country’s only monorail corridor between Chembur and Wadala.
“The LTSE has demanded Rs 18,000 per trip for operating Phase I of the monorail corridor. We have not yet decided and are holding meetings with them. They have to come back to us regarding the rate,” said R A Rajeev, the Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA. When Phase I operations were suspended in November last year following a fire, the LTSE had been charging a trip rate of Rs 3,131. The new rate will mean an increase by at least 470 per cent.
The monorail is defunct for around nine months now after fire damaged two coaches at Mysore Colony Station on November 9, 2017. While the MMRDA had hoped to resume services on the Phase I corridor and start Phase II simultaneously, with shortage of rakes, it has now planned to restart Phase I in August. Phase II is likely to start from early next year. The IL&FS Rail that had emerged as the lowest bidder in a call to appoint a new contractor for operating and maintaining the corridor, had earlier this year sought Rs 7,000 as trip rate for the same length. But Phase I will now be operated by LTSE.
“They have to complete the contract and obligations and then we will take over. We intend to start both the phases as soon as possible,” Rajeev said.
Fare for the Phase I corridor will also be increased and will now range between Rs 10 and Rs 40 from the earlier Rs 5-19. The corridor connecting Chembur and Wadala is known to have a ridership of around 17,000 a day.