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Government drops Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan monorail plan, looks at MRTS

With the proposed Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan monorail failing the viability test, Maharashtra is exploring the option to develop a mass-rapid transit system (MRTS) in the regions to improve transport system in the Mumbai metropolitan region.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has invited tenders to prepare techno-economic feasibility and detailed project report for the proposed MRTS on the Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan sub-region including travel demand estimate.

Last month, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had given indications about creation of the MRTS in the region. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) had carried out the technical feasibility study on the proposed 25 km Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan monorail corridor through RITES in 2011.

As per the report, the monorail corridor was not likely to be economically viable on fare box, advertisement and other revenues.

It further recommended that on the basis of a likely low ridership, availability of the right of way and proposed land use plans, a road-based transport system would be more suitable for the Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan region, which can serve the catchments at least for the next 10-15 years.

"Considering the change in socio-economic development scenario and future development of the MMRDA areas, identified growth centres and development of multi-modal corridor from Virar to Alibaug, the government decided to revisit the project by conducting fresh travel demand estimation and feasibility study for appropriate MRTS," the tender document said.

"It is now intended to carry out fresh travel demand estimation for Thane (north), Bhiwandi and Kalyan subregion and to prepare techno-economic feasibility and detailed project report for appropriate MRT system for the area," MMRDA said.

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