Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA), the nodal infrastructure agency of Maharashtra Government, today moved the Bombay High Court seeking a stay to the fares of Mumbai Metro. The current fares, determined by the Metro consortium partner Reliance Infrastructure, are higher than the ones proposed by the state government.
The first phase of Metro in the city on the 11.4 km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar stretch was inaugurated on Sunday. Justice R D Dhanuka today scheduled the hearing of arbitration petition filed by the MMRDA as well as its application for the stay for June 13, as the Anil Ambani-led RInfra sought time to file a reply.
MMRDA’s lawyer A P Bharucha told the court on Monday that the Metro operations had already started, therefore the issue must be decided urgently.
MMRDA’s petition says the consortium had agreed on the structure under which fares were to be Rs Nine (upto 3 kms), Rs 11 (from 3 to 8 kms) and Rs 13 (for more than 8 kms). But RInfra, in a statement here, said, “The initial fare has been fixed and notified as Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 30 and Rs 40 under section 33 of the Central Metro Act 2002. As per the Central government’s directive, the Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) is the Metro Railway Administration (MRA) and the fare for the Mumbai metro is to be fixed afresh by MMOPL…”
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had said on Saturday said that these fares were not acceptable to the Government. In the first month, MMOPL has offered a promotional fare of Rs 10 for a one-way trip irrespective of the distance.