dna exclusive: Mumbai monorail found wanting

Monday, 3 February 2014 - 7:18am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Next batch of rakes will have Malaysian back-up to avoid cannibalising spares of one to fix the problems of another.
  • As the city’s and country’s first rake trundled a little past 7am on Sunday, loud cheers filled the air. By far, the crowd put on its best, a rarity in Mumbai’s public transport. Rajendra Gawankar DNA

As Mumbai Monorail’s commercial operations begin, officials are happy there will be no more cannibalising of equipment. The next batch of trains will have spare parts from Malaysia.

Till now, engineers at the car depot of the Monorail were cannibalising parts from two monorail trains — removing them from one train to fix the other.

After the problem of frequent failures of systems cropped up in mid-2013, concerns were raised by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and Scomi – the Malaysian firm supplying rolling stock of monorail, about lack of supply in spares.

When the 10th monorail train was shipped to Mumbai last year, spares were included in the shipment. “But the cargo was kept in an open area at the port. Due to inappropriate storage, spares got damaged and were sent back,” said an official.

Sources said that the reason for sending spares after monorail inauguration was to ensure not to run out on warranty period of backup equipment. Had it been shipped earlier, the warranty period may expire before it is installed in the train.

Now whenever the next batch of monorail rakes arrives in Mumbai, there will be a cargo of spare parts to be installed in the two trains that are presently devoid of some or the other parts.

On January 31, dna reported how spares were yet to be dispatched from Kuala Lumpur even after six months since the problem of cannibalising cropped up. The issue was first reported on September 6, 2013.

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