All monorail stations will have seating arrangements for commuters, soon

Mumbai: The fact remains that it will take at least a year’s time for the installation of more rakes, in order to increase the monorail frequency and thereby reduce the time gap between two trains. Until then, the passengers are required to keep waiting for as long as half an hour, at any station, whenever they plan to travel by monorail. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has planned to make seating arrangements soon for the convenience of monorail commuters. Thus, a tender has been floated for the installation of chairs in all the 17 stations. The estimation cost of the project is pegged at `43.61 lakh.

It was in December last year the MMRDA after taking over the operations from SCOMI Engineering started implementing the entire phase from Jacob Circle--Wadala Depot--Chembur comprising of 19.54-kilometre-long corridor on March 3. Immediately after the operations commenced, several commuters, especially senior citizens, started complaining about the lack of proper seating arrangements for the travellers, which forced them to stand on the station platform until the train arrived.

An official from the MMRDA stated that taking cognizance of the necessity of fellow commuters, the waiting chairs would be installed soon. Another official from MMRDA informed the reason for not providing the seating arrangements in stations was it was expected the passengers would vacate the premises immediately after de-boarding the trains to avoid crowding. However, since monorail services are currently running at a gap of nearly half an hour due to lack of rakes, it is not possible.

According to the notification, the appointed contractor has to supply and install the chairs within the three months after the contract is awarded. The last date for suppliers to submit the bid is June 19, 2019. The MMRDA will hand over the work to the lowest bidder.

-Sweety Adimulam

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