Monorail will be the feeder service to connect the mass transport systems, like the existing suburban railway network. — Kanesan Veluppillai, Group Chief Operating Officer (Transport Solutions), Scomi Group
The country’s first monorail would be operational early next year in Mumbai. The first round of test runs has already been completed. Kanesan Veluppillai, Group Chief Operating Officer (Transport Solutions) of Scomi Group of Malaysia, the company that is implementing the project with L&T, told Business Line that the monorail would be a green solution to Mumbai’s problem of pollution and chronic traffic congestion. Excerpts
When will Mumbaikars finally be able to use the monorail?
The first phase of the Mumbai Monorail project is scheduled to start commercial services early 2013. Late November, it successfully completed its full phase of test runs between Wadala and Chembur, a distance of 8.6 km. Additional tests on the signalling will also commence. The response of the train at different speeds, and braking of the train for seamless functioning of the monorail system, is being monitored during the trials. The stretch between Wadala and Chembur will have seven stations which are presently in their completion phase. Training workshops for the motormen and other officials associated with the Mumbai monorail system is underway.
How exactly will it benefit commuters, considering Mumbai’s local train infrastructure is pretty well connected?
In Mumbai, it is estimated that over 11 million people travel by public transport daily, of which more than 60 per cent commute by the suburban railway networks. They require a better mode of transportation to reach their destination. Monorail will be the feeder service to connect the mass transport systems, like the existing suburban railway network. It will easily move through the city’s narrow corridors taking tight turns, saving much of the travel time and decongesting road traffic to a great extent. The routes being linked through major areas in the city are set to benefit commuters who travel long distances.
Will it help reduce pollution?
Monorail follows the lines of green transportation, as its coaches move on rubber tyres on concrete beams, creating less noise and vibration during operation, and is powered by electric motors which are silent, efficient and clean. It is estimated to save approximately 200 tonnes of CO2 a day in Mumbai. The four-car trains will carry 568 passengers each, with a capacity for expansion in the future by adding additional rakes. It will augment local railway services and will offer faster connectivity.