Weeks after a report revealed that a monorail line between Thane-Kalyan-Bhiwandi was not feasible, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has altered its plans and is proposing a hybrid transportation model including a Monorail and Metro line network to connect these areas.
This 40-km line will now include a 30-km Monorail, which will run from Kalyan-Bhiwandi-Thane till Kapurbawdi in Thane. The line will then convert into a 10-km Metro Track from Kapurbawdi, running till Kasarwadavli at Ghodbunder Road.
The project will cost the MMRDA Rs 4,800 crore. “We are making changes to the Detailed Project Report to propose changes in our earlier plans,” Metropolitan Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad said. The MMRDA was earlier planning to build the 30-km Thane-Kalyan-Bhiwandi monorail on a public-private partnership basis.
However, according to consultancy firm RITES, the agency would have to give the contractor nearly Rs 3,809 crore as viability gap funding which is too high. The RITES report said it would take nearly Rs 124 crore every year to run the project, while the income generated would be only Rs 190 crore from tickets and another Rs 19 crore from advertisements. The report also found that commuter traffic on the stretch wasn’t as high as required to make the route profitable. However, MMRDA officials now say that if the project goes around areas of Thane, the chances of ridership on the line will increase.
“There is limited connectivity in this region so we thought that a project which caters to the distant suburbs should be taken up as a priority,” Gaikwad said.