It is unlikely that new fares for Mumbai Metro will be announced by the end of the month, despite the Supreme Court’s directive.
The fare fixation committee, which has been asked to revise the fare according to the Central Metro Act, held its first meeting on Friday. However, it is expected to take another two months to make a decision.
The committee had invited the operator — Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) — to present its case as it is the metro rail administrator. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) officials were not called for the meeting.
Sources said the three members of the committee listened to the deliberations made by MMOPL officials in favour of a fare hike.
The Centre chose two panel members, retired high court judge Padmanabhan and former law secretary TK Vishwanathan, while the state government nominated former state bureaucrat Jayant Kumar Banthia.
An official said the panel may not ask the MMRDA to present its case as it is not the rail administrator. “But we will ask that we get a chance to explain, as we are a part of the project. We want to point it out how the fare hike by MMOPL is illogical,” said an MMRDA official.
The MMRDA, the nodal agency for the Mumbai Metro, had moved high court last year after the MMOPL fixed the new fare — Rs 10 to 40 — using provisions of the Central Metro Act, against the previous fare notified by the state government — Rs 9 to 13.
In January, the HC upheld MMOPL’s side allowing it to charge higher fare. A few days ago, even the Supreme Court allowed the MMOPL to charge higher fare till April-end and directed the panel to come up with the revised tariff.