The 20-km corridor for the monorail project will finally be ready by August, with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) constructing the only missing link by launching girders on railway lines near Currey Road station next month.
Once the corridor is constructed, the development authority will be able to carry out electrification and signalling works, and subsequently, the trial runs will be conducted.
MMRDA commissioner UPS Madan said, “We have received required permissions so the girders near Currey Road station will be launched in August.”
The 8.8-km first phase of monorail project - Chembur to Wadala - was thrown open to public last year. The 10.2-km second phase - Wadala to Jacob Circle - is expected to be operational by mid-2016.
Initially, the MMRDA was supposed to make the entire corridor operational. However, citing slow pace of work, the development authority divided the Chembur - Wadala - Jacob Circle monorail corridor into two phases in 2010.
Owing to time being taken by Railway authorities in granting permission to launch the girders on railway lines near Wadala and Currey Road stations, issues with land acquisition and slow pace of work, the project has delayed well beyond its original deadline, which was 2010-end.
Last month, the MMRDA launched girders near Wadala station.
As the first phase — Wadala to Chembur — does not connect any major suburban stations, it has failed to fetch commuters. At present, only 15,000 commuters use the service. This number is paltry compared to the 2.5 lakh-odd commuters that use the Mumbai Metro every day.
According to MMRDA officials, only 50 lakh commuters used the monorail in its first year of operation.
The monorail is expected to receive better response after the completion of second phase as it will then connect four suburban railway stations in the eastern and western parts of the city.