Even as the government-constituted Fare Fixation Committee (FFC) had recommended a sharp increase in tariff, the Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), which operates the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro, has decided to continue with the prevailing fare structure till November 30.
The Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), which has built the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor on a public-private partnership model, currently charges between Rs 10 and Rs 40. The FFC had in July said this could be raised to Rs 10-Rs 110. However, the MMOPL had decided to continue to charge the Rs 10-40 tariff structure till October 31, and has now decided to extend it for another month.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and MMOPL, a Reliance Infrastructure-led consortium in which the former has an equity stake, have been at loggerheads on the Metro fare since even before the city’s first Metro was opened for public use.
The MMRDA was insisting on a fare structure of Rs 9-13 as per the concession agreement, while 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 had challenged the MMOPL decision in the Bombay High Court and subsequently the Supreme Court, which set a deadline for the FFC to come up with its recommendations.
“The MMOPL will continue to charge the current discounted fare of Rs 10-40 till November 30, 2015. Based on the advisory of the Fare Fixation Committee,
the MMOPL has already approached the Maharashtra government and the MMRDA to achieve the dual objective of affordable fare and business sustainability,” an MMOPL spokesperson said.
The consortium, which constructed the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro on a public private partnership, is in talks with the state government and MMRDA for capital and operational subsidies and possible real estate development to shore up non-fare box revenue to avoid a sharp spike in fare.
Meanwhile, the state government and MMRDA have written to the Union Ministry of Urban Development requesting a review of the FFC’s recommendations.