Congested Mumbai is looking to the Monorail to ease its traffic woes and if indications are right, by December commuters could get their first taste of it.
Around 15-18 lakh residents on the 8.90 km stretch between Chembur and Wadala, in suburban Mumbai will have, to their benefit, the option of choosing to commute on the state-of-the-art Monorail network. Sixty per cent of the work has been completed on this route.
The Rs. 2,460 crore Monorail project is the first of its kind in India, initiated by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). The 20 km stretch from Chembur to Wadala could be covered in approximately 40 minutes, which otherwise takes more than an hour and sometimes even more, during peak hours.
The Monorail will operate from 5 a.m. to 12 a.m. (midnight), and will halt at 17 stations along that route. “We are delighted that phase-1 is nearing completion and will be fully operational by December. This has been made possible by the sheer determination and hard work of the people involved on the project and also because of the immense co-operation and support we received from local people,” said Ratnakar Gaikwad, Metropolitan Commissioner.
A green project by the MMRDA, the Monorail is expected to reduce traffic congestion and will operate fully air-conditioned coaches, and is considered ideal for urban congested corridors. It runs on rubber wheels, which minimises noise pollution.
Its design is such that it requires less space and has the capacity to carry almost 20,000 passengers during peak hours. It will run over a sleek concrete guide-way beam 0.8 metre wide.
The Monorail aims to connect areas not covered by suburban locals and has four cars, with a capacity to carry approximately 570 commuters in one trip. Trains will run on a frequency of 5 minutes with an average speed of 30 km/hour. Fare charges will range between Rs. 8 to Rs. 20.
The Monorail system is currently being operated successfully in cities in Japan, Malaysia and China.
Work on phase-1 (Chembur–Wadala) of the project is on in full swing and work on phase-2 between Sant Gadge Maharaj Chowk to Wadala is expected to be complete by mid-2011.