Monorail must be treated with pride and respect

Recently, this paper carried a couple of pictures of the interiors of the monorail— Mumbai’s latest addition to its public transport landscape. The monorail is set to run from Chembur to Wadala in Phase-I. It is set to begin soon. While Mumbaikars have become inured to delays in various civic infrastructure projects, it is exciting to witness the widening of the commuting horizon, given that Mumbai is such a commute-centric city. After all those pronouncements, delays, putting off the launch date because of one reason or the other, some unfortunate and tragic mishaps and accidents, the monorail is here at last, ready to begin transporting Mumbaikars within the 8.8km stretch that is the Wadala-Chembur corridor.

The monorail has 4-5 compartments. There is substantial standing room but not much seating. Apparently, only 10
persons could be seated in a compartment, the rest will have to stand. With this new facility, it is now up to the Mumbaikar to treat it well and ensure that we take pride in another facet of our infrastructure.

Too often, we have seen local trains defaced by graffiti scratched on the walls, stickers in the compartments, filth on the floor. And how many times have we held our noses at reports about people defecating in train compartments when they are in the shed? It is disgusting vandalism and misuse of public property. Trains have innumerable advertisements scratched by blades on its walls. There are stickers of quacks advocating cures for everything from backaches to sexual impotence, and marriage counsellors promising solutions to marital discords.

It is difficult if not impossible to nab the culprits because trains are so crowded, or all this takes place very late at night or early morning when the facility is deserted. It shows that people have little or absolutely no civic sense and a heinous disregard for the city’s transport structure and for other commuters too.

Authorities must crack the whip and issue substantial punishments for defacement of any kind to the monorail. More than the authorities it is the people who need to demonstrate a high regard for public property. In the end, it is not about the punishment, the fear of getting caught or even the quantum of fine. What should really stop people is pride in their city and a respect for the monorail paid for with their taxes.

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