The rate of every single trip of the Mumbai Monorail will depend on whether the operator agrees to the charges fixed by the Subodh Jain Committee.
The rate of every single trip of the Mumbai Monorail will depend on whether the operator agrees to the charges fixed by the Subodh Jain Committee, which was appointed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for the purpose.
Jain, a former general manager of Central Railway, has recommended around Rs 10,000 per trip, whereas the operator has demanded around Rs 18,000.
The MMRDA is now expected to discuss the charges based on Jain’s report with the operator — a consortium of Larsen & Toubro and Scomi Engineering (LTSE).
Whatever rate gets fixed will be paid by the project authority, MMRDA, to LTSE every time the monorail traverses the 9-km route that is currently operational.
According to sources, the rate of Rs 10,000 per trip has been suggested for both the first and second phases, i.e. from Chembur to Vadala and from Vadala to Jacob Circle. Including the second phase, the total length of the project is 19.5 km.
Speaking to FE, Jain declined to reveal the rate advised by him, but said he has rejected a number of fixed costs that LTSE had asked for.
MMRDA officials did not respond to text messages seeking their comments.
Jain said there is a need to improve efficiency. “The cost of just one wheel is Rs 1,10,000. In Malaysia, where Scomi is based, these wheels have a lifespan of 60,000 km, whereas in Mumbai, it is just 30,000 km. The reasons need to be examined. The monorail can be viable if it is operated efficiently,” he explained.
The monorail, the first-of-its-kind transportation system in the country, has capacity to carry up to 2 lakh passengers daily and was expected to have ridership of at least 1.25 lakh.
However, with only 9 km of the total 19.5 km length being operational, ridership was only around 16,000-17,000 before a fire had broken out in November last year.
The monorail has since remained idle, and is expected to resume operations this month.