Commuters in Mumbai caught in traffic jams are expected to get some relief in the near future with the Maharashtra government planning to introduce the country's first Monorail here by 2010.
"Travelling in city's congested parts without traffic jams will be possible by Monorail in 2010," Minister of State for Urban Development Rajesh Tope told PTI.
Besides, there will be no displacement of people as the Monorail needs only a small space to operate. It will act as a feeder to suburban and metro system because they cannot cover all parts of the city, Tope said.
The estimated cost of the project, proposed on four separate routes is Rs 1800 crore (Rs 18 billion). The first route covering 25 km is Malabar Hill- Gopalrao Deshmukh Marg-Haji Ali-Keshavrao Khade Marg-Jacob Circle-Sane Guruji Marg- S S Rao Marg-Dattaram Lad Marg-GD Ambedkar Marg-Wadala Marg-Wadala Truck Terminus-Antop Hill-Sion Hospital-Dharavi- Bandra Kurla Complex.
The second route is of 10 km is Chembur-Mahul-Gidwani Marg-Gowandi-Chembur. The Lokhandwala Complex-Oshiwara-Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road-Kanjur Marg (10 km) is the third route and Thane-Kalyan-Bhiwandi is fourth route (25 km).
"Monorail is very ideal for Mumbai's congested areas as it will run on elevated tracks and the space consumed is just 8 to 10 km," a senior transport planner from MMRDA, K Vijaya Lakshmi said.
The capacity of the Monorail is more than 500 with four coaches attached and more than 700 with six coaches attached to it, she said.
Vijaya Lakshmi said the Authority has taken Jacob Circle at Mahalakshmi-Wadala-Mahul-Chembur, a 12-km road as a pilot project and three bidders have been shortlisted.
Simultaneously, a feasibility study is also going on for other routes, she added.
Bombardier Transportation India Ltd, Reliance Energy Ltd with Hitachi and Larsen & Toubro Limited India with Scomi Group are the final bidders selected by MMRDA and the evaluation of bidding documents is going on currently, she said.
Many international cities running the Monorail project successfully include -- Tokyo, Haneda: Length-17.8 km with capacity of carrying 26,000 passengers per hour per direction (phpd); Naha, Japan: Length- 13 kms with 9,500 passengers phpd; Tama, Japan: Length- 16 kms with 17,000 passengers phpd; Osaka: Length- 23.8 kms with 17,000 passenagers phpd and Chongqing in China: Length- 17.4 kms with 17,000 passengers phpd.