Mumbai, March 4: Flagging of the much awaited second phase of the Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle monorail network, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis said that the government is working hard to give systematic travel plan on digital platform. “We need to de-stress our suburban train network by proper planning for integrated transport facilities”, he added in presence of rail minister Piyush Goyal and other ministers.
Speaking at the event further, Fadnavis said, “The country's first ever monorail had faced many hurdles and delays in the past but was now finally seeing the light of day. The first 8 km route which got commissioned in 2014 was used as a mere joyride because there was no last mile connectivity. But now, with the commissioning of the second phase, it will no longer remain a joyride but passengers can now use it for a hassle free commute," he said.
With this, the monorail's annual ridership is now expected to increase from current 4.5 lakh to 30 lakh. "In the process of urbanisation, the most important element that needs to be addressed is mobility. It is necessary to develop an efficient and sustainable public transport system. In Mumbai we have a strong suburban railway system, and with the projects like monorail and metro network, we will be able to develop sustainable mobility," he asserted further.
There was need to integrate transport systems including railways, monorail, metro, BEST and the proposed waterways, he informed adding, “The civic-run Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport undertaking should get more electric buses in its fleet to reduce pollution”.
"The ₹750-crore Kalyan Murbad railway line has also been sanctioned. Fast development is the motto of Modi's new India. Earlier, after budget announcement, it would take 20 years for work to start, but in 4 years we have done a lot of work," he said lauding the ruling reigns of Modi Government.
With this, the entire 19.54 kilometre route of the country's first monorail system, being implemented by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), is functional. The 8.26 kilometre first phase, built and operated by a consortium of Larsen & Toubro and Malaysian firm Scomi Engineering, was commissioned in February, 2014.
Piyush Goyal on the inauguration said his ministry has given in-principle approval for connecting all monorail stations to ones on the suburban railway network. "We have taken this decision to connect monorail to all railway stations, subways, skywalks, to ensure end to end connectivity," he added.
Earlier in the day, Fadnavis inaugurated a new suburban terminus at Central Railway's Parel station. Since taking over the monorail's operations, MMRDA has has reduced daily losses from ₹1.8 crore to ₹1 crore. It plans to operate 120 services with a fleet of seven 4-coach trains between 6am and 10pm daily. The fare for the entire 17-station route, which has been built at a cost of ₹3000 crore, has been fixed at ₹10, ₹20, ₹30 and ₹40.