Mumbaikars waiting eagerly for operations to start on the second phase of the monorail between Wadala and Jacob Circle may have to wait longer than they had anticipated.
The line, which was slated to be operational from May 2015, has already been delayed to the end of 2015. Moreover, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) still has to take permission from the Central Railways (CR) for the construction of a bridge over the railway track at Currey Road.
Speaking to mid-day, UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner of MMRDA, said, “The work for constructing stations between Wadala and Jacob Circle is on in full swing.” But asked to explain the delay in opening the second phase of line 1, he said, “Until we get permission from the CR, we cannot start construction of the monorail bridge passing over the tracks near Currey Road station.”
However, getting permission for construction of the bridge will not be an easy task. Only after a detailed study of the proposal will the commissioner of railway safety (CRS) provide an NOC for the construction. Significantly, one of the major reasons for the delay in the Versova-Ghatkopar metro was caused by delay in obtaining permission from CRS.
The MMRDA also had to make design changes in the rail overbridge at Milan Subway, after which they were given permission to start work; so getting permission for constructing the bridge over Currey Road will not be an easy task.
When mid-day enquired at CR if the development authority has sent any proposal about the bridge design, a senior official said, “I don’t think we have received any proposal from MMRDA, but I will have to check with officials.”
Phase I between Wadala and Chembur was inaugurated in February, but the response has not been as per expectations. Authorities feel that once the entire route till Jacob Circle is operational, many more commuters will start using the monorail services.