Opinion: The failure of Mumbai Monorail is a lesson for urban employers.

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The failure of the first phase of monorail has doubted any further expansion plans.
The failure of the first phase of monorail has doubted any further expansion plans.

On December 14, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) abolished its contract with the Indo-Malaysian Consortium L & T-Scomi Engineering Bhd to manage the monorail of the city. The Authority said that since there were many rake infestations found there were issues such as poor maintenance of the monorail fleet. It ended another chapter in the apology of a transport experiment that was wasted from its beginning.

India's first monorail was flagged off on February 1, 2014, with the hope that it would solve the Mumbai's transport crisis – or at least some of them. MMRDA initially spent a total of Rs 2,716 crore on 19.5 km Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle corridor.

Experts also warned that this was a silly idea, which would have no practical or concrete effect on the transport of the city, because the monorail rake has less carrying capacity, the planned route is unnecessary and expensive and the technology is not used is. As a mode of transport on a large scale anywhere in the world – and there will be low cost-recovery rates.

In addition, inexpensive mode, such as simply Rapid Transit System – which can achieve equal rider and speed at a lower cost – were not considered.

Ashok Datar, chairman of the Mumbai Environmental Social Network, said, "Monorail is a new experiment, which has no use for the city."

MMRDA concept of monorail for the first time in 2005 and approved its implementation in a meeting held on 28 September 2007. A Consortium of Larsen and Toubro with Malaysian partner Scomi Engineering Bhd was contracted on November 11, 2008 to build and operate the monorail.

Now, after eight years, it has become clear that the project has neither completed the purpose of taking loads from the suburban train network nor has worked as an efficient feeder system. If anything, then it is suffering from accidents, maintenance issues and stable passenger load. After a fire in a coach in November 2017, its services were closed for ten months.

After closure, approximately 15,000 to 10,000 per day in the monorail, approximately 15,000% of estimated daily riders of approximately 1.5 lakh passengers were seen decreasing in riders.

The purpose behind bringing monorail was that Mumbai needed a supplementary system for the existing suburban rail network, which is more than the capacity of more than 8 million passengers per day. There is crowded bus services in the city and traffic congestion simply slows down the services. MMRDA has described the monorail as the most suitable for crowded places because it requires less space, it is able to take a sharp turn and has the capacity to carry 20,000 passengers per hour per hour.

However, there was a huge difference between what was said and what was finally implemented.

What went wrong

MMRDA In a corridor, the monorail project started, which passes through some of the most remote areas of Mumbai on the east side. In the first phase, there were no shops, offices or residential blocks through the areas of marsh land.

The original plan was to start construction on the other side, where the human density was high, but land acquisition was not easy in the crowded areas. "Route planning and stages have gone wrong, MMRDA should give priority to another route," BS. Khatua, Mumbai Transformation Support Unit has a right to consult, monitor, coordinate and coordinate projects of various government bodies including MMRDA in Mumbai, a state government think tank.

"Or the MMRDA could complete the entire route once in two stages instead. We can not blame Monorail technology This is a failure of the plan, "Khatua said.

Apart from this, the monorail was barely integrated with other means of transport on its route. Its stations are neither properly connected to the suburban train stations nor are there buses nearby to carry the passengers to their destination. The closest suburban railway station, where monorail ends, is 4 km away. In addition, some stations are located away from residential areas. This increased the time and cost of travel for the passengers.

In the year 2017, the Maharashtra Legislature's Public Accounts Committee, strongly criticized the MMRDA for poor planning, in which the rider estimates were incorrect, did not study the overall viability of the monorail route and wasted public money.

But it was also surrounded by other problems. In view of the terrorist attacks in November 2008, implementation of various authorities was not delayed due to the difficulties of land acquisition, change in road alignment and slowness in the government's decision. The total cost increased to Rs 3,000 crore.

Workers have long suspected that monorail was pushed to open empty land for development in the Eastern Corridor of Mumbai, which would allow more buildings. Madhav Pai, director of EMRQ India and a part of the World Resources Institute Ross Center, which focuses on sustainable urban transport, says, "It can see growth in the east direction as a push."

PRK. The former Transport Chief of MMRDA, Murthy, while confirming that "the long-term objective is to open the land for development and economic development, the monorail will do the project". Some major residential projects by big builders have already started construction in the area, which provide tremendous potential for the future.

Monorail's future

However, the failure of the first phase of the monorail doubted any expansion plans, which included nine corridors. Getting funds for them is becoming very difficult.

Without very little or no public demand or consultation, the decision to pursue the project without having to study its impact was a poor one. With the failure of ShowPeace Planning and Showpeace Project, there are many lessons for city policy makers across the country – there are not many services supported by politicians and urban planners for the Vanity Project and their own agendas raised by the governments, which are designed for them Have been done. .

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