Mumbai: The public accounts committee (PAC) of the state legislature has criticized the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for its poor planning and for having misjudged the viability of the monorail and the Skywalks. Calling both facilities a “waste of public money,” the statutory committee said none was useful to citizens.
In its report filed in the state legislature on Thursday, the committee said that although Phase 1 of the Monorail does not serve people traveling on overcrowded local trains, the government has been conducting safety tests for Phase 2.
Started in 2014, the first monorail project in India has caused losses. A response to an RTI submitted in September revealed that the monorail loses Rs3 lakh daily. While officials said that Phase 1, between Wadala and Chembur, covers a number of passengers of 18,000 passengers per day, many experts have described the project as “a getaway for citizens on weekends.”
The MMRDA, however, expects the number of passengers to improve once Phase 2, between Wadala and Jacob Circle, becomes operational. Two traces of monorail burned down on November 9, and operations stalled.
The report said that proper planning would have helped the government reduce the burden on the city’s public transportation.
“The MMRDA must design projects in such a way that they can become alternatives to the current means of transport.” The planning authority must also take into account the opinions of local representatives so that the project is more feasible and problems with their implementation are solved. “, He said.
The PAC is a legal body that guarantees action on the restrictions and objections raised by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) with respect to government spending. The committee conducted officer hearings and took advantage of a traffic management plan, following grunts due to ongoing Metro rail projects. The committee also ordered the government to present a report on the implementation of the plan.
He also suggested extending the East Highway to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya and then to Metro Cinema through the Crawford Market.
“There were bottlenecks at the points of entry and exit of the highway due to traffic, if the highway extends to the general post office or the museum, it will help reduce traffic jams.” The government should coordinate with the railway authorities to acquire railway land adjacent to platform 17 at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, it should also extend to Metro Cinema en route to Crawford Market, “he said.