Recent snags on the Monorail corridor have illustrated that in the event of a breakdown because of a snag in the power supply system, authorities have no option but to call the fire brigade to rescue stranded commuters, with the help of sky-lifts. However, there are several stretches on the Chembur-Wadala corridor where fire brigade vehicles cannot reach.
In order to be ready for rescue operations on such stretches, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has decided to build special platforms. Using these platforms, stranded commuters can dismount from the monorail and reach more accessible spots from where they can be evacuated.
The MMRDA has identified five stretches where fire brigade vehicles may have problems reaching a monorail in the event of a breakdown – near the Mahul Creek, the Eastern Freeway crossing, the Wadala bridge, the Lalbaug flyover, and Currey Road.
“Platforms will be constructed between two adjoining tracks (beams). Once the design of the platforms is finalised, we will start installation work,” said an MMRDA official, requesting anonymity.
Monorail operations were affected on March 15 and April 17, when power supply was disrupted. In the breakdown that occurred on March 15, 11 commuters were left stranded for more than one-and-a-half hours, as there was no effective mechanism for evacuation.
The MMRDA had considered the purchase of a diesel-run monorail to tow failed monorails back to the nearest station. However, the plan fell through eventually.