THE CITY’S monorail will soon have new hands operating and maintaining it. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has invited bids for new contractors to take over the functioning of the monorail for the next 10 years.
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Current contractor Scomi Engineering’s term will end in February and they have sought a hike to continue services. “Scomi was willing to extend their contract for another three years, but had placed a condition that their charges should be revised. The current rate, Rs 3,131 for every trip, was set in 2008-2009,” said Sanjay Khandare, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA.
Opened to the public in February 2014, the monorail had incurred heavy losses in the past few years and had often faced technical glitches. Currently plying between Wadala to Chembur, the monorail’s Phase II, from Jacob Circle to Wadala, has been severely delayed. However, the planning authority is positive about a good response from prospective contractors. The trial runs for Phase II are set to begin February 1 and the entire route are expected to be operational by mid-2017. “Once Phase II is commissioned, we will have much more commuters. We have already received some bids and are expecting new contractors soon,” said Khandare.
Meanwhile, Scomi will fulfill all its commitments and continue to operate the monorail for a few more months.