MMRDA officials say that it will be tough to pinpoint the first passenger, as the monorail has eight doors to enter, and trains will commence from Wadala and Chembur simultaneously
While there is sure to be a race amongst eager Mumbaikars to be the first to travel in the country’s first monorail between Wadala and Chembur on Sunday, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has raised the bar, saying that the mantle will not be conferred on the first citizen to buy the ticket.
The officials said that the person who gets inside any of the four rakes before others would be considered the first commuter of the monorail. Speaking to MiD DAY, MMRDA Commissioner UPS Madan said, “It’s not the person who buys the first ticket for the monorail, but the one who enters before others, who will be declared the first commuter of the monorail.
However, there are chances that several people will enter the four compartments at the same time. This will make the task difficult to determine the first traveller.” The monorail will be operational for the public from Sunday at 7 am.
Tough to tell
Two trains will leave simultaneously one from Wadala and the other from Chembur adding to the confusion over the first commuter. Sources in the MMRDA claimed that Mumbaikars are expected to throng Wadala and Chembur monorail stations, hoping to be among the first passengers. The Wadala-Chembur route will be inaugurated formally by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. “At 3 pm on Saturday, the CM, along with mediapersons and other dignitaries, will inaugurate the monorail and travel from Wadala to Chembur,” said Madan.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan will inaugurate the Monorail today at Wadala
Though the MMRDA has spent over Rs 1,100 crore on the construction of the phase I, there are no public toilets at any of the monorail stations. Only the monorail staffers have access to washrooms. Commenting on the issue, MMRDA Commissioner UPS Madan defended the move, saying, “Nowhere in the world are there public toilets at monorail stations. The monorail journey is a short one, so the provision of public toilets was not made when the plan for stations was chalked out.”
“I think it is necessary to have public toilets at every monorail station. I wonder how the plan progressed without designing toilets,” said Ameya Kole, a student of K C College. “The staircase leading downstairs from a monorail station will be as crowded as the local trains, and we will surely have to push people to reach the nearest washroom,” said Nitin Advani, Dahisar resident.