Mumbai: After a delay of over nearly 10 years, the much-awaited Monorail Phase-2 (Wadala to Jacob Circle) will begin in the last week of February. According to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) official, “Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is expected to inaugurate the monorail on February 27 or 28. Of these two tentative dates suggested, since the code of conduct is likely to come into effect anytime from March 4 and no projects can be announced from that period.”
MMRDA is hoping the Monorail Phase- 2 will fetch more riders as compared to Phase 1 (Chembur to Wadala), which failed to generate revenue since it did not get the expected ridership. In fact in a query filed by an activist, Prithvi Maske, under Right to Information, MMRDA admitted, on a daily basis, the only monorail corridor in Mumbai, is facing a loss of Rs 3 lakh on an average.
According to the MMRDA, the trial runs for Monorail Phase 2 has already been started. “Since only three rakes are running on Phase 1 and other remaining rakes are in carshed lying unused for want of repairing. Therefore,during night time, these three trains are used for trial runs,” informed the official.
Furthermore, to run the entire Monorail corridor starting from Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle, the MMRDA will purchase five new mono trains. A tender will soon be called. The official said, “Since the previous operator (SCOMI engineering BHD) only provided 10 rakes against 15. We paid them for only those 10 rakes.
Now as the provisional funds to purchase five more rakes is with us (MMRDA), we will purchase the remaining rakes at a cost of Rs 40 crore each.” Apart from buying the remaining rakes, the MMRDA has also hired additional staff like station managers, locopilots, ticketing staff so the operations of Monorail Phase 2 would not face any hurdle once it is functional.