Mumbai: With operations demanding higher rate, the cost of running monorail to shot up. Thankfully, this increase in operational cost will not impact the fare paid by commuters. The fare will remain unchanged as per Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) officials.
The Mumbai monorail project has stayed in news for one reason or the other. Now with operators demanding for higher rates, the cost of running the monorail is going to increase.
As per earlier records, the operators were making Rs 3,131 for a run of 9 km. With their new demand, operators are asking for Rs 18,000 for a stretch of 19.5 km. A substantial increase in the operating cost.
But despite of this demand from operators, MMRDA officials have assured that the fares will remain same. A commuter travelling to one station will have to shell out Rs 5. But for those looking to travel at a distance equally six station or on a seven route station, the fare will be Rs 11.
MMRDA sponsors the monorail project and after being inoperative for a year, it will start operating from September 1 onwards.
As per current set up, MMRDA has to pay fee to monorail operators. The fee is paid for every time it traverses the 9-km route, which is the rate per trip. Here the operators are a consortium of Scomi Engineering (LTSE) and L&T.
One of the operators in the consortium, LTSE has been asserting that per trip rate of Rs 3,131 is not viable. The firm feels that it is difficult to operate and maintain monorail system at the current rate. As per close sources, LTSE has put forth a demand to increase the rate from Rs Rs 3,131 to Rs 18,000. This rate is quoted for operating monorail for both the phases. It includes from Vadala to Jacob Circle and Chembur to Vadala totally of 19.5 km.
At the moment only Phase I operation is proposed to be restarted. Operations for the other phase will take some time to start. As per reports the operation of second phase is likely to being from February 2019.
MMRDA officials are in discussions with LTSE to arrive at a mutual operating trip rate. L&T on the other is abstaining to comment on the issue.
Monorail project has caught attention owing to being the first-of-its-kind transportation system in India. The rail network has the capacity to carry around 2 lakh passengers a dat. It is also have a ridership of approximately 1.25 lakh. But unfortunately, only 9 km out of 19.5km was operation. In such a case the ridership was only around 17000 before it closed down last year owing to fire.
Many expect things to improve once monorail begins its operation from September and Phase I becoming fully operational.