Mumbai’s monorail to resume services from Saturday
The service is set to resume after nine months with a 15-minute frequency.Updated: Aug 31, 2018 15:39 IST
Come Saturday, Mumbaikars will be able to take the Monorail between Wadala and Chembur when the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will restart operations .
The services were shut on the route following a fire incident in November 2017, and the subsequent deadlock between MMRDA and Scomi Engineering—the operator—over the per-trip rate.
According to MMRDA, the services will start from 6am and run up to 10pm daily, while the trains will be operated at a frequency of 15 minutes. “The Monorail operations will start, simultaneously, from Wadala and Chembur at 6am and will remain operational until 10pm with a 15-minute frequency. In all, the Monorail services will make 130 trips every day from Saturday,” a statement from MMRDA said.
The MMRDA on Thursday accepted the per-trip rate of Rs 10,600 recommended by a one-member committee. The per-trip rate is a fee that the operator is given to run (one way) and maintain the corridor by the MMRDA.
With this, the operational cost of running the Monorail has gone up by 130% from the earlier per trip rate of Rs 4,600.
The MMRDA has been incurring losses on the corridor as the route has poor daily ridership ranging between 17,000 and 18,000 passengers. Apart from paying the operator, the MMRDA also bears the expenses for electricity, salary of the security personnel at the stations, and the upkeep of the Wadala depot.
The fares on the 8.9-km route have been kept the same as they were prior to the fire in November. MMRDA officials said they will charge the old rates—Rs 5, Rs 7, Rs 9 and Rs 11—on the Chembur-Wadala route although revised fares have been approved. The revised fares, which are expected to be implemented once the Wadala-Jacob Circle phase 2 of the Monorail will start, are divided in four slabs—Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 30 and Rs 40.
The frequency of the Monorail is low as there are only five trains available for operations, and the other five are under repair. The MMRDA has asked the operators to repair the rakes at the earliest and press them into service to improve the frequency.
The Monorail operations, which began on February 2, 2014, have been marred with technical glitches. The 10.6-km phase-2 of the Monorail was originally slated to be commissioned in December 2010. Although the phase has got all the requisite clearances to start operations, it is still not commissioned as the MMRDA does not have adequate rakes to start services on the full 19.5-km route. The route is not expected to be commissioned by mid-2019, senior MMRDA officials said.
First Published: Aug 31, 2018 15:34 IST