THE Bombay High Court Friday extended till April 12 the stay on the proposed fare hike of the Mumbai Metro rail owing to the recent recommendations made by the Fare Fixation Committee (FFC) constituted by the Centre.
Commuters of Mumbai’s first Metro have been paying existing fares after the HC on December 17, 2015 had refused to allow its operator to hike fares owing to the recent recommendations made by the FFC.
It sought to hear the matter “in-depth” before finally deciding if the fare hike as desired by the Reliance-Infrastructure (RInfra)-led Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) is justified. The FFC had allowed the MMOPL to charge a tariff of Rs 10-110 for the 11.4-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro in July.
Based on the committee’s recommendations, the MMOPL had announced a maximum fare hike of Rs 5 from December 1, 2015, taking its maximum tariff for single journeys to Rs 45 from the current Rs 40. The three-member committee was constituted to resolve the long-drawn fare fixation issue between state govt’s Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) and MMOPL.
A bench headed by the former chief justice of HC had in January ruled in favour of the private operator, allowing it to hike its fares. However, back then, the FFC was not constituted – a factor observed by the HC on Thursday.
The development authority was insisting on a fare structure of Rs 9-13 as per the concession agreement when the line was opened for public use in June 2014.
The MMOPL being designated as the Metro rail administrator – as per the Metro Act under which the project was brought midway – fixed the tariff at Rs 10-40.
The MMRDA has a 26 per cent stake in the MMOPL.