The opening of the 19.54km corridor between Jacob Circle to Chembur in Mumbai some time later this year will announce the arrival of monorail in the country.
The monorail is an extremely popular transport mode across the world for several years. But it is only now that many Indian cities are weighing it as a sustainable transport system in some of their busiest and congest parts.
While almost 20 Indian cities, including Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kozhikode, Chennai, Indore and Lucknow, have been toying with this idea, it is the financial capital that has taken the lead.
The 20-odd kilometre corridor, which runs through the city's most congested parts, is being taken up in two sections. The 11.28km Jacob Circle - Wadala section is likely to open first — some time in mid-2012.
Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) officials believe the second section from Wadala to Chembur would also become operational by the end of the year.
“While Mumbai’s local train is the backbone of the city’s transport system and buses cater to areas where the local train is not available, Monorail and Metro (which is also under construction) will further strengthened the city’s public transport system," a senior MMRDA official said.
Experts believe that monorail is a perfect transport mode for cities like Delhi and Mumbai. “Monorail is best suited to places where availability of land is an issue and heavy rail systems like Metro cannot be constructed. It can take sharp curves and steep grades up to 6 per cent to cross obstructions like flyovers,” said transport expert.
Monorail in Mumbai will cut the local train network and the under construction Metro network at eight locations and will serve as perfect feeder for heavier rail systems. Officials said there will be seamless integration between the monorail stations and local train and Metro stations.
While Mumbai has shortlisted seven more corridors for monorail — which officials said would be taken up after judging success of the under-construction corridor — Bangalore is likely to call tenders for the 60km monorail corridor which will run through the heart of the city soon.