Mumbai: India’s only Monorail operational cost to more than double as per latest development. There is an expected 130% hike in the per-trip cost of operation from ₹4,600 to ₹10,600. Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) panel has suggested increasing the per-trip fare.
A panel was constituted by MMRDA on August 15 to bring closure to the deadlock between monorail operator and MMRDA over per-trip expense. After discussions and deliberation, the committee has in its report suggested on increasing the per-trip cost to ₹10,600 from ₹4,600.
MMRDA was already incurring losses while operating the 8.9-km section of the monorail between Chembur and Wadala (Phase-1). Ironically, with panel suggesting a hike in per-trip fare, MMRDA will feel a further dent. The state agency will be incurring additional losses if the fare is implemented.
As per the arrangement, MMRDA pays the per-trip fare to monorail operators. The fare is paid for the operational and maintenance cost for the monorail corridor.
The monorail operators are a consortium comprising of Scomi Engineering (LTSE) and Larsen & Toubro. Recently, they had put forth the demand for revising the per-trip rate. They had demanded ₹18,000 per trip as per MMRDA authorities.
The deadlock between the consortiums has to be resolved by MMRDA before restarting Chembur-Wadala arm of the monorail. The line was closed post-fire incident in November last year.
MMRDA is eyeing to start operation on this line from September 1.
Senior MMRDA officials shared that the panel has given its report suggesting a revision. They have asked to increase the fare to ₹10,600 per trip. The committee has asked for better man power management that will aid MMRDA is running the monorail cost effectively.
The reason MMRDA is running into losses is due to low ridership rate. The per day passenger counts is around 18,000. This is very low considering MMRDA looks after salaries and electricity fare expenses.
MMRDA is banking on Phase 2 of Monorail project to be made between Wadala and Jacob Circle. Once this route is operational things would be much viable.
In coming months MMRDA hopes the Monorail ridership to touch 1 lakh per day. This will considerably reduce the load on MMRDA.
By next years, the Wadala-Chembur is likely to be commissioned. This line will pass all the way through densely populated areas. It will also have intersections with suburban railway stations.
MMRDA to ensure incident free operations plans to install high-resolution CCTV cameras. They will also place smoke detectors close to tyres. They will closely monitor the operation from control room in Wadala to avert any untoward incident.