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Blame Kasab for monorail delay

The monorail, your city’s first light mass transit system, which was expected to be completed by December 2011, will be delayed by 11 months.

mumbai Updated: Feb 26, 2011 02:33 IST
Zeeshan Shaikh

The monorail, your city’s first light mass transit system, which was expected to be completed by December 2011, will be delayed by 11 months.

And one of the reasons for the delay was in getting the requisite clearance from the home ministry for the stretch along Arthur Road jail, where Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Kasab is currently lodged.

“The delay was basically due to lack of clearances, which the MMRDA had to procure, and changes in the route alignments. We also need to take into consideration incidents such as the terrorist attacks and the delay by the home ministry in giving clearance because of the Kasab trial,” said Suhaimi Yaacob, country president, Scomi India.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), through Scomi and Larsen and Toubro, is building a 19.54-km-long monorail route between Jacob Circle and Chembur via Wadala.

Work on the project had started in November 2008.

But the Wadala-Chembur stretch of the monorail, which should have been ready by December 2011, will now be operational by November 2012.

While the entire stretch — from Jacob Circle to Chembur — that should have been ready by May 2011, will be delayed by 12 months.

Under the new plan, the civil work for the first phase between Wadala to Chembur (8.3km) will be completed by April 2011. The agencies would then undertake tests for six months with people actually commuting on the stretch by November 2011. The civil work on the Jacob Circle-Wadala stretch will be completed by December 2011.

“We are expecting the tracks to be fully functional by May 2012,” Yaacob said.

The monorail will provide interconnectivity to the existing suburban stations of Mahalaxmi and Lower Parel on the western line and Currey Road and Dadar on the central line.

The plan is to run 15 trains of four cars each with a carrying capacity of minimum 560 commuters. The fare is expected to be between Rs 8 and Rs 20, depending upon the distance.