After repeated delays, the country’s only monorail corridor has set a new deadline for its Phase II and is scheduled to begin operations in June. While the 10.24-km-long line from Wadala to Jacob Circle was to be earlier commissioned in February, by that date only the civil work for the corridor will be completed. “The civil work for the monorail will be completed by the end of February. The trial runs will take place in March and by June we should have the Phase II in operation,” said UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA.
Watch What Else Is Making News
Currently, the monorail connecting Chembur to Wadala has only four rakes. Upon completion of the corridor till Jacob Circle, eight rakes will be commissioned and another five will be added later in June-July. The new rakes will be provided by Scomi Engineering from Kuala Lumpur, the current operators whose contract with MMRDA is set to expire in February. Currently Scomi is working on the rakes to integrate it with the Mumbai Monorail. The new rakes are said to be more advanced than the existing fleet.
“The new rakes will be better than what we have currently. It will not be different in its external appearance, but it will be more advanced with reduced weight and better seating,” said Sanjay Khandare, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA. While the first phase saw dismal ridership between 16,000 to 18,000, MMRDA officials believe that the commissioning of the second phase should drastically increase the commuters.
“Since the monorail will connect some of the most densely populated areas of the city it is bound to see more commuters. We are anticipating a ridership of 1 to 1.2 lakh commuters per day,” said Khandare. However, he estimates that the monorail should be operational before June.