The fact that the project was delayed by two years and costs escalated manifold was all forgotten when hundreds of people queued up to become a part of the country’s history. On Sunday, when the monorail India’s first was thrown open to the public, excited passengers thronged to take their first ride on the much awaited transport network. And the monorail bug had bitten even outstation citizens young and old.
Mother and daughter enjoy their time aboard the country’s first-ever monorail after boarding it from Wadala. Pic/Bipin Kokate
No distance too far
One outstation commuter was 70-year-old Kaushalya Barve, who travelled all the way from Nashik, just to hop on to the monorail. “When I saw that this was the first time that such a train was going to ply in the country, I decided that I had to travel by the monorail.
Small children were excited as they travelled by the monorail. Irrespective of their age, Mumbaikars flocked to the stations for a ride on the brand new mode of transport yesterday. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Even though I have health issues, I made the journey,” she said, adding, “I took the early morning bus from Nashik and then made my way to the city.” Barve then made her way to Chembur station from her daughter’s home around 10 am and caught the monorail to Wadala.
“I had to stand in queue for the tickets for 30 minutes and had to wait another 75 minutes for a return ticket to Chembur but the feeling is great. I can stand for another hour if given a chance to travel by the monorail,” said a beaming Barve.
'Felt like flying in the sky'
Pandurang Garad (61), who was in the city for some personal work, cancelled his journey back home to Pune just so that he could be one of the hundreds who rode the monorail first. Along with his daughter, he made the journey from Navi Mumbai and was left overwhelmed by the entire experience. “Travelling two storeys above ground level, I felt like I was flying in the sky and the beautiful scenery just uplifted the whole experience. I am so glad that I decided to cancel my travel plan and have this wonderful experience of the monorail ride,” a happy Garad said.
In sickness or in health
Another senior citizen, Nathai Gupta, who is a resident of Prateeksha Nagar (Sion), made sure that he travelled by the monorail. Despite being sick for a week, he stood in the queue for an hour at Wadala station. “When I used to look at the construction work from my home, I often wondered how the train would travel without a track. That’s when I decided that I had to use the monorail.”
Excited by new technology
For GT Anthony (86), it wasn’t just a novelty; the monorail hit close to home. A deputy electrical engineer with the CR till 1984, he marvelled at the leaps made in technology, saying, “As an engineer, new technology and innovations attract me. With the monorail being thrown open to the public, it has put India on the global map. My family members didn’t want me to leave early in the morning, but if there is something that shows how our country has developed, then nothing can stop me. I boarded the train at 10 am from Wadala and left after 30 minutes, feeling very excited.”
The number of passengers who travelled on the monorail on Sunday
Total number of services
The time at which the first train left. Due to the overwhelming response, the services were operational till around 4.30 pm.
Rs 2.2 L
Revenue collected through the sale of tickets and smart cards on Sunday