With its first trial on a 400-metre specially created track near Wadala in central Mumbai, the monorail will announce its arrival in India.
Though the Delhi government has been talking about bringing Monorail and Light Rail Transit (LRT) to the national capital for the past several years, it is India’s financial capital that has taken the lead.
With Mumbai’s local train serving as the backbone to the city’s transport needs and buses catering to areas where local train service is not available, Monorail and Metro (which is also under-construction) will further strengthen the public transport system of Mumbai.
Like Mumbai, Delhi, too, is a case fit for multi-modal transit systems.
With the Delhi Metro providing a link between east and west and north and south Delhi, the monorail would further improve the transport system in the Capital.
“For congested areas, where acquiring land is an issue and heavy rail systems like the Metro cannot be constructed, monorail is the most suitable means of transport,” said Shah Hakim Zain, chief executive officer, Scomi Group.
“It can take sharp turns and tackle steep grades up to six per cent to cross obstructions like flyovers.”
The company is constructing the 20-kilometre monorail in Mumbai, between Jacob Circle in Central Mumbai and Chembur . There are nine points along the congested route where the monorail would tackle sharp bends. At eight points, it will cross the Metro and the Mumbai local.
A part of the section is expected to open for public use by the end of 2010.
Scomi has also built 8.6 kilometre monorail in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), which caters to a 20 million ridership.
In Delhi too, the government has planned three routes for the monorail – Budh Vihar (near Rohini) and Red Fort, Kalyanpuri (East Delhi) and Red Fort, and Delhi University and Gulabi Bagh (North Delhi). The 45-odd kilometres of monorail is expected to cost about Rs 7,000 crore.
“We have completed the feasibility study and the detailed project report is also ready. Since the project required huge investment and construction was also going to take time, we have postponed the project for the time being. We will re-consider it after the Games,” said a senior transport department official, requesting anonymity.