The operations of the much-delayed second phase of the Mumbai Monorail was halted, on March 4, 2019, on its maiden day of commercial operations, due to technical glitches.
The 11.28-km-long second phase, from Sant Gadge Maharaj Chowk (Jacobs Circle) to Wadala, was opened for commuters on March 4 but the services were terminated for almost an hour, with the MMRDA blaming the delay on the innocuous floral decorations on the coaches used for its inauguration.
To remove the floral decorations the coaches were to be hauled to the depot for about 10 minutes, as these flower strings got entangled in the lower portion of the train, posing obstructions to operations, MMRDA officials said. Due to the technical glitches, passengers were stranded at the Wadala depot for almost an hour.
Meanwhile, MMRDA claimed the system carried over 16,000 commuters up to 5.30 pm on the first day of operations and collected over Rs three lakhs in ticket sales. “The monorail ran its entire corridor and attracted 16,110 commuters and collected Rs three lakhs in revenue on day one, up to reports that last came in at 5.30 pm. The figure is pretty indicative of the possible success of the entire corridor, despite Monday being a holiday (on occasion of Mahashivratri),” said the Authority, which operates the transport system.
The monorail ran in all 53+4 trips, that is two trips each from Wadala to Chembur and Wadala to Sant Gadge Maharaj Chowk and 53 trips from Chembur to Sant Gadge Maharaj Chowk and back till 5.30 pm on March 4, it added.
Mumbai Monorail: Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle stretch operational from March 3, 2019
The second phase of the Mumbai Monorail project was inaugurated on March 3, 2019, making the entire 19.54-km stretch from Chembur to Wadala to Jacob Circle operational
March 4, 2019: Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, on March 3, 2019, flagged off the much-delayed 11.28-km second phase of the Chembur–Wadala-Jacob Circle monorail network. With this, the entire 19.54-km route of the country’s first monorail system, being implemented by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), is now functional. “The first 8-km route, which got commissioned in 2014 was used as a mere joyride, because there was no last mile connectivity. Now, with the commissioning of the second phase, it will no longer remain a joyride but passengers can now use it for a hassle-free commute,” Fadnavis said.
The CM said the Monorail’s annual ridership will now increase from the current 4.5 lakhs to 30 lakhs. “In the process of urbanisation, the most important element that needs to be addressed is mobility. It is necessary to develop an efficient and sustainable public transport system. In Mumbai we have a strong suburban railway system and with the projects like monorail and metro network, we will be able to develop sustainable mobility,” he said. The chief minister further said there was a need to integrate transport systems including railways, monorail, metro, BEST and the proposed waterways. He said the civic-run Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport undertaking should get more electric buses in its fleet, to reduce pollution.
Railway minister Piyush Goyal, who was present at the monorail inauguration event, said his ministry had given in-principle approval for connecting all monorail stations to ones on the suburban railway network. “We have taken this decision to connect monorail to all railway stations, subways and skywalks, to ensure end-to-end connectivity,” Goyal added. Speaking at the event, MMRDA commissioner RA Rajeev said, “At almost 20 kms, Mumbai Monorail is the third-largest route in the world after China with 98 kms and Japan with 28 kms. Despite several hurdles, we have managed to now finally commission the entire route.”
Since taking over the Monorail’s operations, the MMRDA has said that it has reduced daily losses from Rs 1.8 crores to Rs 1 crore. It plans to operate 120 services, with a fleet of seven 4-coach trains between 6 am and 10 pm daily. The fare for the entire 17-station route, which has been built at a cost of Rs 3,000 crores, has been fixed at Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 30 and Rs 40.
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
February 11, 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.
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.