The city’s proposed monorail network is set to widen further. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is contemplating extending the planned 30-km Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan line till Badlapur.
Various residents of Kulgaon and Badlapur, including Ram Patkar, president of the Kulgaon Badlapur Municipal Corporation, have been demanding that the line be extended.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan during a recent MMRDA meet seems to have given an in-principle approval to the extension and has asked the MMRDA to carry out a technical and economic feasibility study of the project.
“Yes, we have received a request to extend the monorail till Badlapur,” MMRDA spokesperson Dilip Kawathkar said. The MMRDA has already commissioned the construction of the 19.54-km Jacob Circle-Wadala-Chembur monorail line at a cost of Rs 2,460 crore.
The other proposed lines include the BKC-Bandra (East) line (9 km), the Oshiwara-Kanjurmarg line (10 km) and the Thane Bhiwandi-Kalyan line (30 km).
MMRDA officials said that the Thane line would be taken up on a priority basis and they had appointed Sowil and China Rail Eryuan Engineering Group Company Ltd for carrying out the feasibility study. With the proposal for Badlapur being considered seriously, the scope of the study may have to be increased.
The extension would be an additional 10-15 km. The construction cost of a kilometre of monorail is close to Rs 125 crore. A normal four-car monorail carries close to 700 passengers.
The MMRDA had recently commissioned international consultancy firm LEA Associates to carry out a study for finding out prospective routes where the monorail lines can be set up. The MMRDA is also setting up a 10-15 line strong monorail network in the city to provide east-west connectivity.