A day before the increased tariffs for the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro were to come into force, the Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) decided to stay the proposed hike till December 17.
The Bombay High Court is scheduled to hear a plea by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) on December 17 challenging the recommendations of the Union government-appointed Fare Fixation Committee (FFC).
The committee 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 last week announced a maximum fare hike of Rs 5 from December 1 taking its maximum tariff for single journeys to Rs 45 from the current Rs 40.
An MMOPL spokesperson said, “Since the Honourable High Court has scheduled the hearing on priority basis on December 17, we have deferred the fare revision till then.”
As per the proposed fare hike, the MMOPL will charge based on five distance-based slabs from the current four. Hence, instead of a tariff structure of Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 30 and Rs 40, after the increase, the commuters will have to pay Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 25, Rs 35 and Rs 45.The fare for the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro has been a contentious issue between the MMRDA and the MMOPL, which has constructed and now operates the elevated Metro line on a public-private partnership model.
The development authority was insisting on a fare structure of Rs 9-13 as per the concession agreement when the Metro line was opened for public use in June 2014. However, 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.