The Bombay High Court has dismissed the petition filed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) challenging the fare hike of Mumbai Metro by Reliance Infra for the Mumbai Metro rail. The court directed the Central government to ask the Fare Fixation Committee comprising all partners of the Mumbai Metro consortium to decide on the fixation of opening fares expeditiously.
The court also said that concession agreement is in conflict with the Metro Act. The HC said that the Arbitration Tribunal has to decide on the legality and validity of the resolution passed by Rinfra-led MMOPL on fixation of fares.
With there being a major conflict over the initial tariff for the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro, the MMRDA had filed a petition seeking arbitration and also an injunction to the fare hike notified by the Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL).
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Reliance Infrastructure-led MMOPL has constructed the 11.4-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro on a public private partnership model. The company along with private firm Veolia Transport holds a 74 percent stake in the consortium, while the rest 26 percent is held by MMRDA.
While the state government has been insisting on an initial fare of Rs 9 to Rs 13 based on the concession agreement, the MMOPL has notified an initial tariff of Rs 10 to Rs 40, saying it is duty-bound to fix initial fare being the Metro Rail Administrator under the Metro Act.