Only months to go for monorail to roll

Chembur-Wadala monorail is likely to be commissioned by middle of this year n Wadala-Jacob Circle will take a year after that.

After four years of labour, the first monorail of the country is almost ready to roll out with Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) starting test runs on the first-phase Chembur-Wadala corridor.

MMRDA has started a three-stage process to check safety of the elevated structure and rakes. The first stage involves trial runs by the contractor, a consortium of Larsen & Toubro and Malaysian Scomi Engineering.

The blue, pink and green rakes have been running the entire length of the 8.3-km corridor since mid-November. The purpose is to check their functioning and that of the guideway beams on which the monorail runs at all times of the day and in difficult weather conditions such as fog.

The contractor is also checking if track switchovers are smooth and signals effective.

In the second stage, Singapore mass transit system operator SMRT will conduct trials, after which a former chief commissioner of railway safety will repeat checks.

The Chembur-Wadala monorail is likely to be commissioned by the middle of this year. The second-phase Wadala-Jacob Circle line will take a year to complete after that.

Experts say the first Chembur-Wadala phase is not likely to majorly change the traffic pattern of the city and will at best provide relief to areas with low connectivity such as Bhakti Park.

The monorail will bring comfort to a larger number of people once the entire line from Chembur to Jacob Circle in Byculla becomes functional.

The full corridor will cost Rs 2,460 crore, excluding taxes.

In the second phase, commuters will get a good view of the city as the monorail crosses 18 metres (the height of a six-storey building) over the Lalbaug flyover.

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