At 19.54 km, the full stretch will be world’s second-longest monorail corridor

After a delay of over a year, the country’s first monorail will become functional in the city from August.

The 8.8-km-long first phase of the project, which will be open to the public from August, is a part of the 19.54-km stretch. This will be the world’s second-longest monorail corridor when completed — the longest being Japan’s Osaka monorail corridor, which is 23.8 km.

The project work began in 2008 and was expected to continue till the end of 2011. The total cost of the project has been estimated at Rs.3,000 crore, while the ticket fares will range between Rs. 8 and Rs. 20.

On Saturday, Chief Secretary of Maharashtra J.K. Banthia, along with Rahul Asthana, the metropolitan commissioner of Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which is building the monorail, undertook the trial run of the monorail along with media personnel on the first phase stretch from Central Mumbai’s Vadala to Chembur, a suburb in eastern Mumbai.

Easing of traffic flow

“The Metro and monorail will share the burden of suburban railway and will help provide a more comfortable journey within the city. I am confident [that] the congested traffic conditions will be eased with the monorail availability,” said Mr. Banthia.

“A proposal by the State government to appoint a Safety Certification Engineer for issuing the Safety Certificate — as required by the Tramway Act — is in process. We expect this procedure to begin in June and expect certification within three months thereafter,” said Mr. Asthana. He said the major work of the project had largely been completed but for the application of finishing touches to the stations and conducting of final tests on the communication and signal facilities en route.

The MMRDA’s effort is to ensure that the Mumbai monorail will be at its innovative best, fully equipped with state-of-the-art technology and features like advanced passenger-driver communication, CCTV cameras etc.

The MMRDA stressed that it was a green project as it did not use any fossil fuel, but ran on electricity. On the operational front, the monorail would use regenerative braking system, which would enable about 25 per cent saving in power consumption.