Mumbai Monorail Is Now Fully Operational
After missing many deadlines, the Phase-II of the Mumbai Monorail has been open for public use on March 3. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had inaugurated the new route, making the complete Monorail route operational. The new phase connects Chembur with Jacob Circle.
The operational Phase-I of the Mumbai Monorail runs between Chembur and Wadala while in the Phase-II the route is extended to Jacob Circle. The line passes through the congested residential and commercial hubs of Dadar and Parel, and is expected to decongest local railway network that runs on the similar route.
Route: Chembur- VNP & RC Marg- Fertilizer Township- Bharat Petroleum- Mysore Colony- Bhakti Park- Wadala- GTB Nagar- Antop Hill- Acharya Atre Nagar- Wadala Bridge- Dadar East- Naigaon- Ambedkar Nagar- Mint Colony- Lower Parel- Chinchpokli- Jacob Circle
Cost: While the first phase of the monorail was built at a cost of Rs 1,100 crore, the cost of building the second phase was escalated to Rs 2,460 crore.
Since the launch of Chembur-Wadala monorail route in 2014, the transport infrastructure has been facing a slew of problems that includes delays, low ridership, mishaps, maintenance cost and price escalation.
The average ridership for Phase-I was 18,000 which is much below the expectations of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). Now with the Phase-II, officials are hoping that the ridership would touch the one-lakh mark, making the project financially viable. The monorail has been facing losses of Rs 3 lakh daily due to low ridership. The fire accident has resulted in a loss of Rs 33 crore to the MMRDA.
The MMRDA was struggling to find a new contractor for operations and maintenance of the entire corridor. This has pushed the project cost by manifolds, delaying the project further. Now to beat the losses, the authority has even approved a fare hike once Phase II is operational, with ticket prices ranging from Rs 10- 40, instead of Rs 5-20.