The Chembur-Wadala stretch of the monorail has received poor response, but the second phase, from Wadala to Jacob Circle, could turn its fortunes around as the route will connect the service to five major suburban railway stations —Chembur, Wadala, Currey Road, Lower Parel and Mahalaxmi.
Authorities said the completed line will connect the east and west better, and this will bring more commuters.
The second phase will be operational by the end of this year, according to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), but a look at the status of construction work and the clearances pending say a different story.
MMRDA officials said 85% of the civil work — construction of pillars, girders and stations — has been completed, while the rest will be done by August-end. After this, work on signals, trials and safety certification will be carried out. “We expect the second phase to be operational by the end of this year,” said
B Venugopal Reddy, MMRDA additional commissioner.
On the ground, only construction of three stations, at GTB Nagar, Wadala Bridge and Mint Colony are near completion. At Acharya Atre Nagar, Lower Parel and Jacob Circle, stations are still in the initial stages, with only one of two floors built.
Pillars have been built across the second phase. Most girders have also been constructed, except at Wadala bridge, Currey Road bridge and the point where the NM Joshi Marg meets the road towards Jacob Circle, as MMRDA is waiting for permission from the railways.
A senior MMRDA official said the Central railway may approve construction of the corridor over Wadala bridge. “But we don’t think permission for the Currey Road corridor will be issued anytime soon.”
MMRDA is also struggling to build staircases and lifts because of the lack of free space. A site engineer at one of the stations said even if construction work is done, the finishing may take longer. After civil work, MMRDA will still be left with trial runs and getting safety certification.