So what’s standing between you and your very first Monorail ride in the city? A certificate, and an indisposed man who has been vested with the task of issuing that document. MMRDA officials have revealed that while they are ready to throw open the monorail services to the public, Commissioner Railway Safety (retd) G P Garg must first issue a certificate of safety after inspecting the entire corridor, including the lines, rakes, stations, signals and the other technical aspects of the Wadala-Chembur Monorail phase I.
As luck would have it, Garg has been unwell, and hasn’t managed to examine the corridor in the past two weeks. And the MMRDA has no qualms about waiting. Metropolitan Commissioner UPS Madan said, “The retired CRS commissioner, who has been appointed to inspect and certify the Wadala-Chembur monorail line, is unwell. We have decided to wait for him for some more time.” Asked if this wasn’t delaying the corridor, he said, “If we feel that getting him to certify the line will take more time, we may appoint a newly-retired CRS to inspect and certify the line.”
A highly-placed source from MMRDA revealed that phase I of the monorail between Wadala and Chembur is almost ready, and is only in need of the final certification from the former CRS, after which the line can be thrown open to the people. “Once the certification from CRS is obtained, the line will be ready for opening. However, the decision and the date for the unveiling will be taken by the state government,” added Madan. A senior railway official said, “Garg was in Kuala Lampur where he fell ill, after which he was brought to New Delhi by flight and admitted in hospital. He has been discharged since and is convalescing at home.”
The Singapore-based firm SMRT, appointed by the MMRDA to inspect the line, has already conducted its survey and submitted its report to MMRDA earlier this month, with a few suggestions for technical changes for smooth functioning. “It has been a week now since we got done with the rectifications recommended by SMRT,” said a senior official. Garg is the same man who certified the Delhi Metro in 2002, when he was CRS of the northern circle.
The work on phase-I of the Wadala-Chembur monorail is almost complete, and the final tests are underway. At present, the tests for signaling, communication, rolling stocks and auto fare collection are being conducted and the authorities have been in consultation with SMRT for the same. In the past, MMRDA had successfully conducted trial runs, during which personnel from the technical department looking into operations, maintenance, signaling, security and rolling stock travelled the entire stretch.
How Monorail will help
>> Less traffic: Nearly 28,000 taxis, auto rickshaws and 25,000 private cars take a break from the roads
>> Reduced travel time: MMRDA says the 40-minute commute will be reduced to 21 minutes
>> Reduced pollution: The monorail produces less noise and is eco-friendly
Did you know?
The Rs 2,700-crore Jacob Circle-Wadala-Chembur monorail project was divided into two phases — Phase I from Wadala-Chembur and Phase II from Jacob Circle-Wadala.
There will be seven stations in Phase-I of the nine-km monorail corridor — Chembur, VN Purav Marg, Fertiliser Colony, Bharat Petroleum, Mysore Colony, Bhakti Park and Wadala Depot.
Commuter capacity of the four cars per hour per direction (PHPD)