Mumbaiites will be wary of riding monorail after fire; commuters may decrease, say experts

Experts suspect that fewer commuters will opt to use the monorail when services resume.

mumbai Updated: Nov 11, 2017 15:17 IST
Tanushree Venkatraman
Tanushree Venkatraman
Hindustan Times
Mumbai Monorail,MMRDA,Monorail fire
After Thursday’s fire at the Mysore colony station, services were cancelled until further orders.(HT)

A day after a fire gutted two coaches of a monorail train, the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) said it would take time for services to resume. The planning authority has appointed an independent committee, which will begin its week-long inspection on Saturday.

The committee will be headed by PS Baghel, former commissioner of Rail Safety.

“The committee has to check how safe the other rakes are before we resume services. We will wait for preliminary observations to be in,” said UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA.

After Thursday’s fire at the Mysore colony station, services were cancelled until further orders. The MMRDA has estimated a loss of Rs5 crore owing to the incident.

With two rakes still intact, officials said contractors will have to repair the train.

With residents alarmed over the blaze breaking out in the ‘fire-resistant’ coaches, experts estimate that fewer commuters will opt for the monorail when it resumes. Officials said Phase I of the monorail between Wadala and Chembur attracts 18,000 passengers daily, a figure that is likely to reduce.

“It will certainly bring down the numbers as questions have been raised over its safety,” said transport expert Sudhir Badami.

There have several breakdowns and technical faults with the rakes since the monorail’s launch in 2014. In March 2015, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered a probe after a technical fault in the monorail left 11 passengers stranded inside the train.

“It is worrisome. There is no accountability. Who is responsible for these safety lapses? MMRDA needs to come clean on such issues,” said transport expert Rishi Aggarwal.

First Published: Nov 11, 2017 15:16 IST