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Mumbai monorail fire delays plan to start Wadala-Jacob Circle line by December

There is no clarity on when the existing line will resume; phase 2, from Wadala to Jacob Circle, may start only by January

mumbai Updated: Dec 12, 2017 10:50 IST
Tanushree Venkatraman
Tanushree Venkatraman
Hindustan Times
MUMBAI NEWS,MUMBAI TRANSPORT,MUMBAI MONORAIL
The phase 2, the route from Wadala to Jacob Circle, was to start by December. But the services of the first phase have been shut for a month after the blaze.(FILE)

Continuing with its series of delays, the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) is set to miss yet another deadline to operationalise phase 2 of India’s first monorail corridor. Reason: the massive fire on the operational Chembur-Wadala line (first phase) in November.

Phase 2, the route from Wadala to Jacob Circle, was to start by December. But the services of the first phase have been shut for a month after the blaze. There is also no clarity on when they will resume.

UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, said, “We have started tests for phase 2. However, it will be delayed because of the incident. It may be operational from January 2018.”

On November 9, a major fire gutted two of the four coaches of a rake at the Mysore colony station. No injuries were reported.

An independent committee set up by the planning authority after the incident has suggested various safety measures that need to be put in place. Officials said the services can resume only after complying with all recommendations.

One of the recommendations was an awareness campaign for the staff before resuming services.

According to the report, the blaze was caused because of the negligence as the staff failed to notice a flat tyre that caused the incident. The flat tyre rotated a lot more, causing friction and sparks that eventually burnt down the coaches.

Officials said that a penalty will be imposed on the contractor soon, however, the decision is yet to be finalised.

Apart from the incident which has almost closed down the corridor for a month, the MMRDA is also facing a shortage of rakes. Of the 10 rakes, only four are operational, one of which has two coaches charred in the incident.

The phase 1 of monorail has not evoked much response from commuters. State officials say it will get better once the phase 2 gets operational and commuters are able to use it to travel between central Mumbai and eastern suburbs.

First Published: Dec 12, 2017 10:49 IST