Mumbaikars gave an overwhelming response to the first day today of Mumbai Mono Rail as they turned in a large numbers at all stations between Wadala and Chembur. Amidt rising crowd, the mono rail missed the deadline of 7 am and was delayed by an hour.
Ticket windows were full to their capacities as commuters were standing in a long queuewith an hope for their maiden journey in an air conditioned coaches.
For majority of the commuters of Mumbai life line-the Central Railways, Western Railways and Harbour Railways, it was altogether a different experience as the space was limited compared to their EMU (electric multiple unit) trains.
This apart, the doors were opened and closed automatically. The four coach train has a capacity of 560 passengers though some of them were making efforts in vain to find space. However, they were stopped by the security personnel to avoid over crowding.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which is a town planning body and a nodal agency for city's infrastructure up-gradation projects, had to swing into action in view of the burgeoning crowd.
MMRDA joint project director Dilip Kawathkar said: "MMRDA has closed all the mono rail stations on 8.93 km Wadala-Chembur route today at 2.30 pm. However, those who were standing in the queue at ticket counters in station area were issued tokens for travelling. The train operations were extended up to 5 pm. MMRDA would like to appeal to the public that mono rail services will resume as usual at 7 am on Monday. Mumbaikars are requested to cooperate and enjoy the ride responsibly.''
He said over 30,000 passengers travelled in 61 trips on the first day today. The day's collection was over Rs 3 lakh.
Kawathkar made it clear that the trains will be operated during 7 am and 3 pm from tomorrow onwards .
Maharashtra Security Force personnel had a tough time to control the crowd while maintaining the security at all stations.
On Saturday the mono rail's operations were formally launched by the chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. During February, MMRDA has already declared that mono rail will run between 7 am and 3 pm and after taking into account the response the second shift will be launched in March.
MMRDA said currently four tains will operate which will increase to six after March to have 19 hours of operation per day.