Plans dropped, no monorail for Thane-Kalyan or Thane-Bhiwandi anymore
Maharashtra Government's ambitious monorail service was touted as a mass transit system, but after four years of its launch, it's now a liability for the authorities, and a suspended one at that. Its colossal failure has forced the state government to drop plans of adding any more corridors to the existing one. This means there'll be no Thane-Kalyan or Thane-Bhiwandi monorails.
When will Phase 2 connecting Wadala with Jacob circle start?
Originally planned to be a 135-km-long project, the monorail was running between Chembur and Jacob Circle (Phase-1) after its February 2014 launch. However, in November'17, two coaches caught fire at Mysore Colony station. Operations of the 19.5-km-stretch were then discontinued. Phase-2 was to start in December'17, after missing 15 deadlines in 10 years, but the fire incident pushed the plans on to the back-burner.
Phase-2 safety measures: Temperature gauges, smoke detectors, CCTV in coaches
Earlier this month, MMRDA, the nodal agency, announced Phase 2 (Wadala-Jacob Circle) would start functioning "soon"; how soon, it didn't mention. Reports say it is expected to start in two weeks after receiving safety clearance from CRS, which had some conditions. The riders included installing temperatures gauges and smoke detectors in coaches. MMRDA is also mulling CCTV cameras and evacuation chutes of mid-section guide-ways.
Since launch, monorail has cost the authorities crores of rupees
Ever since the monorail was launched, it has battled issues like frequent train-delays, mishaps, miserable ridership and cost escalation. All these are costing MMRDA crores of rupees; the November fire caused a loss of Rs. 33cr. Currently, MMRDA is facing two issues: a legal tussle with contractors L&T and Scomi Engineering, and failure to find new contractors, with lowest quotes exceeding estimates by 100-500%.
Despite everything, MMRDA feels monorail will rake in the moolah
Despite everything, MMRDA has high hopes that the monorail will turn around. Since Phase-2 would cover Chembur to Mahalaxmi and go through busy areas like Dadar and Parel, which aren't connected by metro, ridership is expected to go up, said ex-MMRDA technical director SP Khade.