MMRDA considers Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to run Mumbai Monorail

MUMBAI: After failing to appoint an operator for running Chembur-Jacob Circle Monorail, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) may now initiate talks with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for helping it run Mumbai Monorail. DMRC has expertise in constructing and running Metro rail corridors in India and Bangladesh but it has not been involved in the running of operations of Monorail so far.

The MMRDA officials are planning to explore talks with DMRC wherein Monorail will be operated and maintained by DMRC. An MMRDA official said, “We had got a response from two bidders for operations of Monorail and both had quoted more than our estimations. Hence, we have not decided on whether to go ahead with them. However, are contemplating on whether to approach DMRC to gauge its response over operating Mumbai Monorail.”

A DMRC official said, “Considering the whole technology of Monorail would be different we might not be able to operate it.’

The DMRC official further added that DMRC is running Metro, as per the Metro Rail Act whereas Monorail is being operated under Tramway Act. “We might need special permissions from the Central government if we are finding it feasible to enter the business of Monorail.”

The MMRDA had last month made the fourth attempt at finding an operator for Mumbai Monorail since January 2017 after which two bidders had shown interest. In its fourth attempt, IL&FS quoted Rs 2,000 crore for operating Monorail for 10 years and Reliance Infrastructure has quoted Rs 6,408 crore against the estimation of MMRDA being Rs 1,000 crore.

The first phase of Monorail between Chembur and Wadala was made operational in 2014 but was temporarily suspended in November 2017 due to an empty coach catching fire. Monorail has been in the news since 2014 owing to technical glitches. Meanwhile, the whole corridor is expected to be made operational with the help of current Malaysian based operator Scomi Engineering by June.