Monorail set for August part presence

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After a 31-month delay and cost escalations running into a few hundred crores, Mumbai Monorail will be part complete by August 2013 and running from Wadala to Chembur.

However, with a capacity to carry only around 600 passengers, the authorities were noncommittal on new lines.

"We hope commercial operations to start by August. We are planning to complete the second phase between Wadala and Jacob Circle by August 2014," metropolitan commissioner Rahul Asthana said after enjoying a special test ride organised by MMRDA for the media on the 9-km Wadala-Chembur stretch.

The trial runs are on since January 2010.

Mumbai Monorail is the first such service in the country and has been commissioned by MMRDA.

A consortium of L&T and Scomi is building the 19.54-km line in two phases. The first, Wadala-Chembur, phase will be completed by mid-2013 and the second, 11.28-km Wadala-Jacob Circle, by mid-2014.

The trains should have been up and running by December 2010, but tardy planning and sloppy execution meant a delay of nearly 31 months.

The state government planned a Rs 20,000-crore eight-line monorail network in 2008. However, the system with limited capacity is on the decline worldwide. A monorail can carry 500 passengers at a time as against the Metro capacity of 1,500.

MMRDA officials said the system needed to be reviewed. "We have to review other monorails and check if they are required as feeder lines," Asthana said.

On track, finally

n The 19.54-km Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle line was to be built at a cost of Rs 2,450 crore. The cost has substantially increased in the last four years

n The project has been divided into two phases — Wadala-Chembur (8.26 km) and Jacob Circle-Wadala (11.28 km)

n The Wadala-Chembur monorail will stop at Bhakti Park, Mysore Colony, Bharat Petroleum, Fertiliser Township and VNP & RC Marg Junction

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