The Chembur-Wadala phase of the city’s first monorail is expected to be commissioned by December but the second phase — from Wadala to Jacob Circle — still has hurdles to overcome. While the construction of both phases of the 20-km corridor had begun almost simultaneously in 2008, work on the 11.3-km Wadala-Jacob Circle line is not even 50 per cent complete.
“Overall, the progress on the second phase is about 40-45 per cent. We hope to complete the second phase a year after the Chembur-Wadala phase is commissioned,” said Ashwini Bhide, additional metropolitan commissioner, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
In the second phase, the consortium constructing the monorail — L&T and Scomi Engineering — has made significant progress from Wadala to Ambedkar Road but some of the difficult sections like taking the line over the Lalbaug flyover and the Currey Road overbridge are yet to be tackled.
The MMRDA is also yet to receive the Central Railway approvals to take the monorail over railway tracks at Wadala and Currey Road, despite having submitted the general arrangement drawings to the latter more than a year ago. “The railway approvals are at different levels of discussions for both the viaducts. We have been having meetings regularly to incorporate their suggestions,” Bhide said.
The development authority is also facing resistance from some Currey Road residents over the location of two piers near the Pimpaleshwar temple there. The residents’ grouse is that the current location of the piers infringes on the already narrow road, making it difficult for vehicles to turn. “We have agreed to shift the location of the piers by taking longer spans. We need to hold discussions with residents about the new position of piers and MLA Bala Nandgaonkar is helping us in the matter,” Bhide said, adding that the MMRDA is likely to hold a meeting with residents by May-end.
The MMRDA is also yet to ascertain if there are any utilities that could be affected during construction of the piers in the new location.
Of the pile foundation, about 90 per cent piles have been erected and 78 per cent pile caps have been placed. The consortium has finished erecting half the number of piers required for the corridor but is yet to launch beams, on which a monorail runs, on the entire stretch.
“The beams can be launched during monsoon. We have started the process of casting beams,” Bhide said.