Fourteen. That's the number of times the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has missed its deadline for launching the second phase of the Monorail project in Mumbai.
The first ever monorail in the country was flagged off in the city between Chembur and Jacob Circle. The second phase of the monorail, which would have extended the route from Jacob Circle to Wadala was expected to launch, as per initial official estimates, in May 2011. The MMRDA has cited technical glitches that have held up the project and is now hoping to stick to its 15th deadline - October 2017. MMRDA additional commissioner Sanjay Khandare expressed hope to Mumbai Live that the project will see light of day in another five months.
The first 19.17 km stretch of the monorail between Chembur and Jacob Circle was supposed to become operational in November 2010. The second phase was expected to start in a year's time. However, the first phase eventually saw the first monorail run in the city in February 2014, and the deadline for the second phase was pushed to May 2011.
Meanwhile, all is not rosy on the first phase front as well. The MMRDA has been incurring losses of Rs 70 lakh per month, owing to commuters' indifference to the service. The MMRDA however feels that the completion of the second phase will help in making the monorail profitable for the city.
Khandare claims that most of the work for the second phase is being completed on schedule and that the MMRDA will approach the commission of rail safety for the certificate of safety needed for commencement of operations in June.
Will the MMRDA be able to meet its newest deadline? And will the Mumbaikar be willing to give the monorail another try? Time should tell.
The missed deadlines -