Monorail ready for public
Preparations at breakneck speed that are underway at various monorail stations are indicative of a month-end inauguration for the much-delayed project’s commercial run.
MMRDA officials are hopeful they will get the final permission from the chief minister soon after he returns from Davos and will clear the files immediately after the Republic Day celebrations. Presently, the MMRDA has been giving final touches to preparations as per the directives given by the chief minister’s office.
Meanwhile, the planning authority has planned to run the monorail between 7 am to 3 pm and this timing will be increased as per the demand. Minister of state for urban development Uday Samant, who rode the monorail on Thursday, has already said that the authorities are almost ready with all the details in place and after the successful trial runs, the monorail is ready to be run commercially.
“We got the safety certificate on Monday and submitted it the next day itself to the chief minister’s office to take the final call. We are awaiting a notification of the date we can start the commercial operations,” said Dilip Kawathkar, joint project director of MMRDA. Earlier, R.C. Garg, former chief commissioner of railway safety, had granted the final safety certificate on January 20 for the 8.8-km Chembur-Wadala monorail, which will have seven stations, including Wadala Depot, Bhakti Park, Mysore Colony, Bharat Petroleum, Fertilizer Township, VNP/RC Marg and Chembur.
Project contractor L&T and Malaysia’s Scomi Engineering had appointed an independent auditor to conduct the various norms of safety checks. MMRDA, meanwhile, had appointed an independent safety auditor of its own — Singapore’s SMRT Corp — to conduct the safety audit. The final call on the safety of the monorail was taken by Mr Garg on Monday.
“Earlier, we had planned to start the monorail from January 26 i.e. Republic Day, but since CM Prithviraj Chavan left for Davos in Switzerland to attend a high-powered economic meet, our plan to commercially inaugurate the monorail had to be pushed back,” said another MMRDA official requesting anonymity.