Bids scrapped, frequency of monorail won’t go up soon
In a major setback for commuters, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has scrapped the bids for manufacturing of 10 Monorail trains citing technical reasons.
The frequency of services for Mahalaxmi-Chembur Monorail corridor, hence, cannot be increased anytime soon.
The bidding process was on since almost a year after Monorail got fully operational in March 2019.
An MMRDA official said, “There were two potential bidders interested in manufacturing of the coaches for Monorail, but both requested for too many modifications. It was not feasible to for us to provide with the same. Hence, we scrapped the bids on Friday. We will now refloat the bids.”
MMRDA in a notification issued dated January 03, 2020, also confirmed that the bidding for the new trains has been scrapped.
Currently, a mere 15,000 commuters travel daily using monorail with a frequency of around 25 minutes, and for increasing commuter ridership, the addition of new trains was crucial for MMRDA. However, the same now will take more three years at least.
Also, once the manufacturer is appointed, the delivery for the same will take at least two years. Between 2014 and 2019 only the first phase between Chembur and Wadala was operational for Monorail. However, the corridor between Mahalaxmi and Chembur was made operational in March 2019.
Out of the total ten trains supplied by Malaysian manufacturer Scomi Engineering, only four trains are being
used for operations, and one more is expected to be operational in the coming
days. Remaining five trains are non-functional and require repairs.
There have been times when two trains out of the total four have been sent for maintenance that has resulted in frequency going up to 45 minutes.
The plan is to have at least 5-10 minutes of frequency by purchasing new trains.
Monish Makhija, a Chembur resident who travels to
Lower Parel daily via
Monorail said, “It has been almost a year that Monorail got operational fully, but the frequency has not increased yet whereas the ridership is picking slowly. However, in the light of less frequency, the ridership might not pick up fully.”