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Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan monorail not on track

The state development agency may drop its plan to build the Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan monorail. Zeeshan Shaikh reports.
Hindustan Times | By Zeeshan Shaikh, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUL 03, 2010 01:05 AM IST

The state development agency may drop its plan to build the Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan monorail.

Reason: A report by consultant RITES revealed that the agency would earn just Rs 209 crore every year against its investment of Rs 4,233 crore for the project.

“The report submitted by RITES has suggested that the project will need viability gap funding of nearly 90 per cent, which is too high. We are now contemplating taking up a 11-km Bhiwandi-Kalyan monorail line,” said Ashwini Bhide, joint metropolitan commissioner.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) was planning to build the 30-km Thane-Kalyan-Bhiwandi monorail on a public-private partnership basis.

However, according to RITES, the agency would have to give the contractor nearly Rs 3,809 crore as viability gap funding — the funding is made by the government to the concessionaire to make infrastructure projects economically viable.

The RITES report said it would take nearly Rs 124 crore every year to run the project, while the income generated would be only Rs 190 crore from tickets and another Rs 19 crore from advertisements.

The report also found that commuter traffic on the stretch wasn’t as high as required to make the route profitable.

This invalidated the MMRDA’s claims when it had mooted the project that the area was the most congested and expected 18,000-20,000 passengers per hour per direction.

“There is limited connectivity in this region and we thought that a project which caters to the distant suburbs should be taken up on a priority basis,” Metropolitan Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad had earlier said.

After this monorail is ready in 2015, the MMRDA planned to extend it from Kalyan up to Badlapur and from Thane up to Mira-Bhayander via Ghodbunder Road.

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