As per an RTI application filed by activist Anil Galgali with MMRDA it has been revealed that the monorail project has incurred losses to the tune of Rs 159 crores since last 26 months. The Public Information officer Varun Vaish provided information to Galgali on the basis of information offered by Monorail Transport planner Shantanu Wagh and P L Kurian the CEO of the Transport operation department. It was informed that the first phase from Chembur to Wadala was opened for public on 2nd February 2014. Since February 2014 till March 2016 around 1,21,64,831 people travelled and a revenue of Rs 9,24,95,331 was generated. But in the meantime during that period the total expenditure on maintenance and operations was Rs 168 crores, thereby showing a loss of Rs 158,75,04,669 crores averaging the loss to Rs 6.11 crores per month which is being borne by MMRDA.
The delay due to poor planning has resulted in further cost escalation of project apart from operations and maintenance. The escalation is to the tune of Rs 220 crores. Initial cost was pegged at 2460 crores. Surprisingly the MMRDA has already paid Rs 2310 crores (project cost, escalated cost and maintenance cost) to the contractors namely L&T and Scomi despite work remaining incomplete. Almost 81 per cent funds have been disbursed showing undue favours to the contractors.
Galgali has sought to know the due date finalised for completion. In a response MMRDA informed that in 2nd phase from Wadala to Sant Gadge Maharaj Chowk is in a progressive stage and is expected to be completed by July 2016.
Anil Galgali said, “At a time when the Monorail is becoming extinct all over the world, the politicians and bureaucrats have made a mockery of Mumbaikars by planning and operating it through a sparsely populated area. This has been done to facilitate some builder lobbies. Hence an enquiry should be launched against all involved in the planning to help builders and should set a precedent by recovering Rs 159 crores, which will ensure such favouritism will not take place in future.”