Jul 23, 2008
Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa proposed a possible introduction of 'Monorail' in Karnataka in the recent budget, creating much anticipation among the people of the state. Udupi and Mangalore are also believed to have been rounded up as the hotspots where Monorail will be introduced. On one hand, if the proposal seems to be another step forward towards development, on the other it has nurtured negative responses as well wherein people have demanded provision of basic facilities first.
Monorail is one of the latest modes of transport. A big hit that it has been in countries like the US, Europe, Japan, Australia and the like, Monorail has emerged as one of the ideal transport facilities. The rail can travel at a pace of 80 Kms per hour. It is a transport system based on a single beam. Monorails are powered by electric motors fed by dual third rails, contact wires or electrified channels attached to or enclosed in their guidance beams. Around 10 to 15 thousand people can travel in monorail per hour (both to and fro) in peak hours. An average monorail can carry about 175 passengers. One of the biggest advantages of monorail transport is the fact that they do not interfere with other modes of transport like vehicles plying on road etc. The passengers can feel at home in air conditioned bogeys and the fact that it is an elevated ride, can almost make you feel like travelling in an airplane. Electronic boards display information at every stop.
Monorail has not yet seen the light of the day in India. Proposals for setting up of Monorail have been made not just in Karnataka, but also in Goa, Chennai, Mumbai, Indore, and the like. But how strong is the possibility of it's implementation in Udupi-Mangalore circles?
Mangalore south MLA Yogish Bhat says "The proprosal has been made. It has to be approved by various departments. We have to first conduct a study in the region, whether it will be succesful in terms of finance, whether people will accept it or not, etc. and only then will we go ahead with the project. This might take some time. But I personally feel, chances of monorail being implemented in the district are more".
If it does, it will be the first in India, a feat that will go down in history as one of the significant achievements of the Karnataka Government.
But most people feel that monorail is far from being a reality in the district. "At the moment, Udupi and Mangalore do not need Monorails. Monorails are required in places that are struggling with extreme traffic problems like Bangalore. Maybe in the future, say ten years from now, Mangalore may require monorails. I don't think it will get much patronage from the people of the district. They will always go for transport that is cheap and quick and our present road transport is good enough" feels Srinivas M, a trader.
"Proposals like monorails, it seems are mere proposals. You may say that Chief Minister has allotted a specific amount in the budget for monorails. But similar sort of funds and project has been proposed for MSEZ also. But we don't know whether MSEZ will be implemented or not. Similarly, this monorail proposal is a mere proposal to please the people of the district" says Abdul Khalique G D, a businessman.
These remarks notwithstanding, people seem to question the ability of the Government to handle various transport issues as well. The Government is thinking of introducing monorail and at the same time road construction work in Mangalore is going on. How will the Government manage these tasks simultaneously?
Nevertheless, monorail, if introduced, will serve people in many a way. However, if it has to be a hit in Mangalore, it has to provide services at reasonable prices and attract a fair bit of population for it to survive. All the best Yeddi!
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