The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to interfere with a Bombay High Court order staying till January 29 the proposed hike in fares of the Versova-Ghatkopar Metro rail corridor. A bench comprising justices M Y Eqbal and Arun Mishra asked the metro operator Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), a subsidiary of Reliance Energy, to approach the high court itself.
The court made it clear that it is not going to hear the plea filed against the interim order and rather requested the high court to hear the matter as early as possible.
The high court had on December 17 lasy year stayed till January 29 the proposed hike in fares of the Versova-Ghatkopar Metro rail corridor, saying the hike should not be implemented until the final hearing of the petition, filed by Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA).
Sanjay Nirupam, head of Congress in Mumbai, had also filed an intervention application challenging the hike. His plea has been taken up for hearing along with the petition filed by MMRDA. MMOPL, which is operating the Versova-Ghatkopar corridor, had earlier announced that it will increase the fares by Rs 5 from December 1, 2015.
Instead of the earlier slabs of Rs 10, 20, 30 and 40, the proposed new structure will have five slabs of Rs 10, 20, 25, 35 and 45. However, MMRDA, which had commissioned the Mumbai Metro, challenged the hike.
It was alleged that central government was facilitating private profiteering by allowing multiple fare hikes. Nirupam demanded that there should be a fare hike every four years, as per the agreement, and not frequently.