In the wake of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) importing five additional rolling stocks (coaches) for the 10.34-km-long Wadala-Jacob Circle monorail, it has come to light that out of the 10 rolling stocks that were imported from Malaysia while commissioning the first phase of the project — from Wadala to Chembur — in 2014, only two are fit for service.
The functional rolling stocks are being used for up and down services while four others are being maintained and the remaining four are in need of major repairs.
The MMRDA has claimed that phase 2 of the project would be commissioned by the end of the year, but the non-functioning of rolling stocks has affected services.
“Instead of having services every 15 minutes, the wait has increased to 25 or even 30 minutes, at times. We agree that there are problems with the rolling stocks, but we hope they are resolved by the time the second phase is up for commissioning,” said a senior MMRDA official, who requested anonymity.
Meanwhile, the authority has put the blame squarely on Scomi Engineering, the contractor responsible for operation and maintenance (O&M) of the monorail. “It is a total failure on the part of Scomi Engineering, which had failed to procure spare parts for repairing and maintaining rolling stocks. The rolling stocks are non-functional mainly due to Scomi not procuring spare parts,” said the MMRDA official. However, the official did not comment on whether or not Scomi would be fined for its alleged negligence.
Recently, the monorail was in the news for two separate incidents — a tyre burst and tyre detachment after a rolling stock had developed a technical snag. The project also witnessed problems related to non-availability of wipers.
However, the MMRDA official said, “Wipers aren’t of much importance, as the pilot has to only follow signals, which is not much of an issue, even in the absence of wipers.”
Ever since the phase 1 of the monorail was commissioned, its operations have constantly been in the news over constant breakdowns of velocity joints and the doors of coaches opening out of turn. In 2014, power outages were reported at a fertiliser township station, which had resulted in a power cable being burnt. Meanwhile, when The Asian Age tried to contact Scomi Engineering, an official said that the organisation did not have a spokesperson in Mumbai and advised this correspondent to get comments from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority.