Mumbai monorail: Jacob Circle-Wadala stretch likely to be opened on March 1, 2019

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority has announced that it is hoping to commence operations on the Jacob Circle-Wadala stretch of the monorail project, from March 1, 2019

Town planning authority MMRDA, on February 8, 2019, said the second phase of the much-delayed Jacob Circle-Wadala-Chembur monorail project, is likely to commence operations from March 1, 2019. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which is implementing the 19.5-km-long corridor, has received spare parts required to repair the rakes that were gutted in a fire accident in 2017.

“The much-awaited monorail parts, worth over Rs three crores, have arrived in the city from Malaysia, which will now help the MMRDA to begin the phase-2 of the project. We are hopeful to commence operations on the Jacob Circle-Wadala corridor from March 1 this year,” MMRDA joint project director Dilip Kawathkar said, in a statement.

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He said the parts will enable the MMRDA to refurbish four more monorail trains into the service of Mumbaikars. “This means the entire monorail corridor will operate with seven trains. Once commissioned, the entire route will attract many more commuters,” Kawathkar added. The MMRDA has also decided to increase the fares to Rs 10 to Rs 40 for the entire corridor from the current Rs 5 to Rs 11 for the first phase.

The MMRDA took over the operations and maintenance of the monorail from Scomi Engineering in the month of December 2018, after it failed to supply the contracted rakes and other operational materials, including the signalling equipment and maintaining the quality of monorail services, despite many extensions. On December 14, 2018, the MMRDA had terminated its contract with the LTSE consortium, which had the contract to build the country’s first and only monorail in the megapolis. In 2018, one rake went up in flames, while on service and it forced shutting of the services for many months.

The L&T-Scomi consortium won the Rs 2,460-crore contract in 2009 to build and operate the 19.5-km monorail network on the Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle corridor, connecting the eastern periphery of the island city to the central parts. The 8.9-km-long first phase of the monorail from Chembur to Wadala was opened to the public in February 2014, almost four years after the original deadline.