Although plans for the monorail link between Thane, Bhiwandi, Kalyan and Badlapur are on the drawing board, political opposition is threatening the project.
The Dombivli unit of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has raised objection over its proposed route on the ground that it excludes the city. “Dombivli has been left out of development schemes,” said MNS Dombivli unit spokesperson Rajesh Kadam.
He added, “Proposal for a parallel road to Kalyan-Dombivli railway line is gathering dust. There are no direct fast suburban local trains from Dombivli. In event of any calamity, Dombivli residents may be stranded in Mumbai.”
Representatives from the political party will call upon Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) metropolitan commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad to lodge their protest over the exclusion of Dombivli city from the monorail project.
With an eye on the impending state assembly election, the state cabinet at its meeting at Oras in Sindhudurg district on June 24 had approved the proposal for a monorail link between Thane, Bhiwandi, Kalyan and Badlapur. This is in addition to the Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS) link that has already been approved. The project is to be implemented by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) jointly with Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) and other civic bodies, whose jurisdiction covers the 30 km long route.
Long ago, the Rail India Technical Expertise Services (Rites) had conducted a survey for the monorail project. “Of the 30 km long route, a stretch of seven km runs through Thane city. The detail project report (DPR) is ready. It is now up to the MMRDA to float tenders,” informed TMC city engineer KD Lala.
The seven km long monorail link in Thane starts from Thane East near Kopri bridge and runs through Anand Nagar, Service Road, Teen Hath Naka, Harinivas Circle, Golden Dye.
It then proceeds to Bhiwandi along the Thane-Nashik Road. “The TMC has offered a site for constructing a marshalling yard and turning for monorail rakes in phase I at the proposed MRTS yard at Balkum,” said Lala.
He added, “Compared to MRTS which requires more space for a marshalling yard for rakes, monorail rakes require very little space. The monorail will bring people from the hinterland of Kalyan and Badlapur closer to Thane and Mumbai.’’
Respective municipal corporations of Thane, Bhiwandi and Kalyan-Dombivli and municipal council of Kulgaon-Badlapur have drawn up their detail project report of the plan. “MMRDA will chart its own comprehensive project plan very soon and will jointly implement the project with respective civic corporations. Project costs and other details will be worked out later,” informed Dilip N Kawathkar, joint project director (public relations) with MMRDA.
Proposed monorail route
Within Thane city - Kopri Bridge, Anand Nagar, Service Road, Teen Hath Naka, Harinivas Circle, Golden Dye junction leading to Bhiwandi along the Thane-Nashik road.
Full monorail route - Thane, Bhiwandi, Kalyan and Badlapur.
Out of 30 km route, a seven km stretch is within Thane.