As one travels from Wadala depot to Bhakti Park, which would be the second major stop for the monorail, an array of shops selling everything, ranging from vada pav to detergent sachet, dot the roadside. “We definitely expect to have many more customers once the monorail starts plying,” says Abhijit Patil, a vada pav seller. Patil’s logic behind his thought is that shops near railway stations always make brisk business. “Take Andheri station. There are at least 50 shops nearby and all of them do good business,” he says.
Unlike Patil, there are a few others who are a little wary of the prospective competition that would crop up when the monorail operations begin at Wadala. A paan shop owner at the signal contemplates what would happen if several other people come and set up their business here? “It would be difficult for me to survive,” says Govind Tiwari, who earns his living by selling cigarettes and gutkha in the area.
Big real estate projects have also come up in the area, indicating proximity to the upcoming monorail as a major factor. Nearby residents, however, do not appreciate the ongoing construction and the heavy traffic that will be an inevitable part of the region once the station is fully functional. “It is a boon for people, no doubt about that, but for people like us who chose this particular area for residence only because it is relatively quiet and peaceful, this will be a nuisance,” says Rajiv Gupta, an octogenarian and an ex-government employee. Gupta, who is an asthma patient used to find it difficult to go for an evening walk due to the dust emanating from the monorail construction work. Now that the construction is almost over, his problems have been partly resolved. However, he says that the residents can’t complain too much as it is for the greater good of the city’s commuters.
Walking towards Mysore Colony, one gets a glimpse of autorickshaws that mark the landscape of suburban Mumbai. Owners of auto-rickshaws that — the most preferred mode of transport in this part of the town — may lose business have their own set of fears. “I just hope commuters will still use rickshaws to ply to and from the station,” says an auto-rickshaw driver.
The monorail project will connect Wadala to Chembur (8.26 km) in phase one and Jacob Circle to Wadala (11.28 km) in phase two. The tentative fare structure, according to Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority ( reports, will range from Rs 8 to Rs 20. The 19.56-km corridor will cost around Rs 2460 crore (plus taxes) for both the two phases put together. The phase one of the project from Wadala to Chembur is expected to be completed by November 2012. The second phase of the project is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2013. The civil work on the line on phase one is likely to end by August and the trial runs will begin thereafter.
Though it is still not clear when the project will be completely up and running, but impact of it has already been seen among the people. Whether it will make a positive difference by decongesting traffic and boosting the business of the likes of Tiwari and Patil or add chaos to the existing situation, that remains to be seen.