While the first phase of the monorail is expected to roll out in the city by January 26, commuters will have to walk it to and from the entry points of stations as the monorail stations are not likely to get escalators until the monsoon.
The development agency for the metropolis, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority or MMRDA, has set January 26 as the deadline to commission the first phase of the monorail between Wadala and Chembur.
Additional metropolitan commissioner of the development authority Ashwini Bhide said that the process to acquire escalators for the first phase is going on. “Work will begin at the stations soon,” said Bhide.
The first phase, which stretches over 8.8km, will have seven stations dotting it — Chembur, VN Purav Marg, Fertiliser Colony, Bharat Petroleum, Mysore Colony, Bhakti Park and Wadala.
At each of the stations, four escalators will be put up. Two of these will be at the ground level to the concourse while two more will be from the concourse to the platforms. So, the seven stations will have a total of 28 such esacaltors.
These machines are likely to be installed at all seven stations by June, before the monsoon sets in.
With the project entering into the inspection and certification stages, the MMRDA has set “Commercial Operation Date” for January 26 for internal reference and work purpose. After a week, former commissioner of Railway Safety, GP Garg, is likely to commence physical inspection of the monorail system to commission the project by the internally set deadline.
Source said exchange of letters has begun between the state and union government to invite prime minister Manmohan Singh to inaugurate India’s first monorail. It is only at a later stage that a date of opening will be decided.
After completing the first phase, focus to meet the deadline will shift to the second phase between Wadala and Jacob Circle, which is scheduled for completion by March 2015.