You won't be riding on the entire 20km stretch of the monorail before mid-next year.
While the 8.8km Chembur Wadala line will be open to public by September, the second phase — the 12.2km Wadala Jacob Circle stretch — seems to have hit several hurdles.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) are going to start safety certification process for the first phase by July, which is required to start commercial operations of the monorail.
“The remaining stretch up to Jacob Circle will be operational only by mid-next year,” said UPS Madan, MMRDA commissioner.
MMRDA officials said that unlike metro services, which need clearance from the commissioner of railway safety (CRS), an international independent agency will be issuing the safety certificate for monorail operations.
Singapore-based SMART agency has been appointed as the independent assessor for testing and commissioning of the corridor.
“We are going to invite the agency by the end of July to carry out safety certification of the Chembur-Wadala stretch,” said PRK Murthy, chief of transport and communication department, MMRDA.
In addition, the MMRDA has voluntarily decided to carry out parallel testing by a retired CRS.
The monorail will be thrown open once the agency and the retired CRS give the clearance.
However, the second line is grappling with several issues such as land acquisition, utility shifting and pending railway permission.
The MMRDA is supposed to construct a total of 1,913 pillars for the elevated stretch from Wadala to Jacob Circle. However, it is yet to build 170 pillars because of lack of required land and unauthorised constructions at certain points.
“There are about five unauthorised religious structures along the corridor.
Also, we have to remove a shop at Dadar to make way for a monorail station,” Murthy said.
Apart from this, the railways have not given the development authority permission to construct the elevated stretch over Wadala and Currey Road railway stations.
The MMRDA is also seeking help from the police as it wants to station explosive detection squads at the monorail corridor, said Madan.