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Entire Monorail line in Mumbai likely to remain shut till end of February

The reason: the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) has given five companies time till February 28 to submit bids for operation and maintenance of the corridor

mumbai Updated: Feb 08, 2018 01:28 IST
Tanushree Venkatraman
Tanushree Venkatraman
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Monorail,MMRDA
Phase 1 services were suspended on November 9 last year.(Bhushan Koyande/HT)

The entire 20-km monorail corridor between Chembur and Jacob Circle (Saat Rasta) is unlikely to open to the public by the end of this month, as speculated earlier.

The reason: the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) has given five companies time till February 28 to submit bids for operation and maintenance of the corridor. The bidders are ILFS-Rail India Limited, Reliance Infrastructure, Aecom, BVG India Limited and Scomi Engineering Limited.

The 8.8-km corridor between Chembur and Wadala was commissioned in February 2014. The services have remained suspended since November 9 last year owing to a fire. The remainder 10.6-km corridor between Wadala and Jacob Circle has missed several deadlines. Earlier, there were speculations that the entire line will be made operational by February 1.

MMRDA officials attributed the delay to poor response from contractors. It had to call for bids thrice. A senior official from MMRDA said, “There are two reasons for the delay. One, we found it difficult to get contractors; and second, we are still waiting for the clearance from the railway safety commissioner to operationalise the second phase.”

The bid-evaluation and awarding contracts will take more than a month, the official revealed.

MMRDA expects the ridership to be around 2 lakh daily, once the entire corridor is operational. Phase-1 had a daily ridership of about 17,000 passengers. A right to information (RTI) application filed in September 2017 revealed that monorail on an average lost Rs3 lakh daily.

Since its inception in 2014, the Rs2,500-crore project has been marred by disruptions and delays. With the delay in operationalising the phase-2 of the corridor, as per initial agreements, MMRDA has also slapped a fine of Rs7.5 lakh on the current contractor — Malaysia-based Scomi. The penalty is being charged on a daily basis starting January 1, 2018.

First Published: Feb 08, 2018 01:07 IST