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Hop on to the first Monorail this Sunday

CM Prithviraj Chavan to inaugurate Monorail on Saturday; services to open for public from Sunday between 7 am and 3 pm for a month, and will be extended later

After a series of hiccups and delays, the country’s first Monorail service is all set to open for public use from Sunday. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan will be inaugurating the first phase Wadala-Chembur tomorrow at 3.30 pm.

MMRDA Commissioner UPS Madan said, “Initially, the Monorail will remain operational between 7 am and 3 pm. This schedule will continue for a month, following which number of services will be increased and divided into shifts. For starters, there will be a Monorail every 15 minutes. When the timings of the operation are increased later, the frequency of trains will be every nine minutes.”

High-tech
The MMRDA has pulled out all the stops to ensure that the Monorail is at its innovative best. They are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and various features like the advanced passenger driver communication, CCTV cameras, etc. The entire project is comparatively eco-friendly, because none of the trains run on any kind of fossil fuel. On the operational front, trains will use regenerative braking system that will enable them to consume 25 per cent less electricity.

Starting Sunday, commuters can travel using Monorail between Wadala and Chembur; mediapersons, along with Monorail authorities, were taken for a ride yesterday, two days prior to its inauguration. Pics/Shadab Khan
Starting Sunday, commuters can travel using Monorail between Wadala and Chembur; mediapersons, along with Monorail authorities, were taken for a ride yesterday, two days prior to its inauguration. Pics/Shadab Khan

Moreover, the 6.5-hectare Wadala car depot provides parking facility for 21 trains with an operation control centre, a training centre, a power station, a receiving traction substation and a full-fledged administrative facility. The authorities will be able to monitor the Monorail’s speed, signals, brakes, communication and safety from the control centre.

The downside
Unlike local trains, where a commuter is allowed to commence the journey within an hour’s time of purchasing a ticket, it is mandatory for a passenger to start the journey within 20 minutes of purchasing a ticket for the Monorail. Any delay will cost commuters an additional Rs 10 per hour. This information is displayed on signboards installed at Monorail stations.

They read: “Permission limit for staying inside the stations after entry is 20 minutes for same station and 120 minutes for other stations. Overstaying beyond above limits will be charged at the rates of Rs 10 per hour, subject to maximum of Rs 100.” Also, even though the Monorail is a multi-crore project, its platforms lack seating arrangement for commuters.

 

Mock drill
The MMRDA successfully conducted safety drills to ensure safe evacuation of passengers from a Monorail train parked on the guide-way beam to ground level, in case of an untoward incident. The drills were conducted with the assistance of officials from Antop Hill fire station, Wadala Truck Terminal police station and the Matunga traffic division.

The drills comprised a stationary train with ‘passengers’ on board, an emergency call to the fire department, its response time and the use of a snorkel unit to rescue the ‘passengers’ from the train. The drills involved only the relevant authorities and operations personnel, with additional operations and maintenance personnel posing as passengers. There was hardly any disruption to any public facility or convenience.

Did you know?
The 19.17-km long Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle Monorail corridor will be the world’s second longest after Japan’s Osaka Monorail corridor (23.8 km long). While there are 19 stations on the Osaka Monorail corridor, the city’s Monorail corridor will have 17 stations.

8.93 km
Distance between Wadala and Chembur

Stations on Phase-I
Chembur
V N Purav/RC Marg Junction
Fertilizer Township
Bharat Petroleum
Mysore Colony
Bhakti Park
Wadala Depot

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