The Maharashtra government, despite being furious about the new Metro fares, cannot move the Supreme Court to challenge the hike at least till next week, as the operator – Reliance Infraheaded Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) – has refused to share the report with it till Monday, July 20.
Interestingly, the Fare Fixation Committee (FFC) submitted its report to MMOPL last Wednesday. MMRDA commissioner UPS Madan said, “MMOPL has denied us access to the report till next week. It has informed us that the report will be shared with us in a board meeting on Monday. If we do not have a formal copy of the report, how can we approach the court?”
The delay in sharing the report and the subsequent delay in appeal gives the MMOPL ample time to implement the new fare – Rs 10 to Rs 110.
MMRDA has three directors on the 12-member MMOPL board, while the rest are from Reliance Infra. MMRDA has written to the MMOPL demanding immediate sharing of the report, citing its stake in the project.
“MMOPL needs to share the report with us immediately as there are three MMRDA officials on the MMOPL board, so we have the right to access the report. We have written to MMOPL asking it to share the report as early as possible,” Madan said.
An MMOPL spokesperson said “We have not received any communication (from MMRDA). We have already advised MMRDA that the report shall be tabled at a board meeting”.
MMRDA had moved the Bombay high court on July 9 last year after the MMOPL fixed the new fare afresh – Rs 10 to Rs 40 – using provisions of the Central Metro Act, against the previous fare notified by the state government – Rs 9 to Rs 13, calculated as per the clauses in the concession agreement.