Arbitrator appointed to look into constant delay of Mumbai monorail project

Feb 27, 2016, 08:18 IST | A Correspondent

Everything does not seems to be well between MMRDA and the company that constructed the countrys first monorail as an arbitrator has been oppointed to look into the issue

An MMRDA official who did not wished to be named confirmed the same. "The company has said that there has been a delay in the construction of monorail for which MMRDA is responsible as it has resulted into escalation of project cost. In order to solve the issue, we have appointed a three member team as the arbitrator."

The three member team was appointed around three monts back and this includes Railway officer S D Limaye, Former PWD official Jayant Nashikkar and Anand Kulkarni.

It should be noted that already the monorail project is delayed. From its start itself, the monorail project has been facing a lot of problem which includes technical glitches. The Jacob Circle Wadala section of monorail which was expected to be operational by the mid of this year has also been delayed as the planning authority has yet not procured the switches (the mechanical unit that helps the monorail to go from one beam to the other at the both ends of the corridor). There are two switches which are lying with customs and two more are yet to arrive to Mumbai from Malaysia.

It is said that the company's financial status is not sound enough and this is thr reason why the reason why the two switches are yet to reach Mumbai from Malaysia. Last year MMRDA had even said that the monorail trial run would begin by January-February this year but the same didn't not happen due to unavailability of switches. This also means that the phase-II between Wadala and Jacob Circle would begin only by this year end provided the switches reach on time.

In the month of April last year mid-day had done a story (Mumbai Monorail is running a loss of Rs 1.5 crore every month) in which it was stated that as per the MMRDA data monorails daily cost of operation is exceeding its earnings via ticket sales and a major sum goes in paying salaries of MSSC security guards manning stations.While tickets rake in Rs 2 lakh every day, it takes Rs 7 lakh per day to operate the Monorail. That's a loss of Rs 5 lakh per day, which works out to Rs 1.5 crore a month. At present it is said that the loss is close to Rs 10 lakh per day.

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