Even as the fare fixation committee may be formed in the next few days, the fare for Mumbai Metro is unlikely to be fixed anytime soon. Reason: the Central Metro Act which speaks about revision of fare, but does not deal with fixing the initial fare, which is a must for the committee to revise it.
According to the urban development ministry, which has appointed three members of the committee, the committee cannot revise the fare, as it does not know whether the fare fixed by the state government or other by the developer, Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), should be considered as the initial fare structure. The ministry now wants the Bombay high court (HC) to fix the initial fare before going ahead with the revision.
Shankar Aggarwal, secretary of the ministry, said “The committee cannot look into revision of the fare until initial fare is fixed. There is no scope for fixation of initial fare in the Act. As far the initial fare is concerned, the court will decide it.”
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the nodal agency for the Metro, had moved HC on July 9, after MMOPL fixed the new fare afresh — Rs10 to 40 — using provisions of Central Metro Act, against the fare notified by the state government— Rs9 to 13.
The Metro was being developed under the Tramways Act till November, after which it was brought under the Metro Act. The Metro Act enabled the MMOPL to fix metro fare afresh. Currently, the promotional fare -- Rs10 to 20 – is being charged from commuters, which will continue till December 31.
The high court will hear the case on December 15.