Mumbai monorail fire: Two months later, authorities still unsure when to resume servicesUpdated: Jan 06, 2018 14:23 IST
Two months after two coaches of a Monorail rake were charred, the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) is yet to decide when to resume services.
Worse, it is not sure when the second phase of the Monorail corridor (up to Jacob Circle), which was to start in December, will become operational.
Initiated with much fanfare in 2014, phase-1 caters to about 18,000 passengers daily but has always been marred with delays and disruptions. On November 9, two coaches of a rake caught fire, which led to suspension of services. An inquiry report stated that the safety manual of the Monorail was “grossly inadequate” for evacuation of passengers from the elevated pathways.
Officials said services will resume after all safety measures are complied with. A senior MMRDA official said verification of safety measures by the contractor was one of the reasons for delay in resuming services. The MMRDA had also initiated a programme to retrain the staff in safety protocol after the report accused a few members from the operation and maintenance team of negligence.
For delays in operationalising phase-2, the MMRDA imposed a fine of Rs7.5 lakh on Scomi, the Malaysia-based contractor. The penalty amount will be calculated on a daily basis starting January 1 till the second phase is made operational. The corridor has missed several deadlines since 2011.
Sanjay Khandare, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, said, “For phase-2, trials by the commissioner of railways safety (CRS) have been completed. Reports will be submitted by January 10. We will then decide when phase-2 can be made operational.”