Mumbai CST.

INDIA: Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority has awarded a contract worth Rs24·6bn to Scomi Engineering of Malaysia and consortium partner Larsen & Toubro to design and build an elevated monorail line in the city.

Expected to take 30 months to complete, the 19·5 km Sutra straddle monorail is expected to open for revenue operation in April 2011. The line will start at Sant Gadge Maharaj Chowk (Jacob Circle) and head northeast to Wadala and Chembur. There will be 18 stations, including interchanges with existing suburban rail services and the future metro network. The operations control centre will be located at the Wadala depot, where the 15 four-car trains will be maintained. Mmrda envisages that the project could be a pilot for further monorail lines to relieve congestion in the metropolitan region and act as feeders to the heavy rail networks.

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had been due to participate in a groundbreaking ceremony on November 29, but this had to be postponed following the terrorist attacks on the city. However, Scomi Senior Vice-President Kanesan Velupillai confirmed on December 4 that work is in full swing on the project, adding that ‘security is an issue but we are taking proper precautions’.