The state government has blamed the Centre for the delay in the formation of the fare fixation committee (FFC), which has eventually led to a Bombay high court ruling in favour of hiking the Mumbai Metro fares.
The proposal to form the committee is pending with the Centre for the past three months. According to government officials, the court would not have allowed Reliance Infra-led Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) to hike the fares, if the committee had been formed in time.
The ministry of urban development had, in October last year, appointed three members to the committee and subsequently sent a proposal to the appointments committee of the cabinet (ACC) for a formal nod for the committee. However, no decision has been taken yet.
“The Central government is responsible for the high court’s ruling. If formed, the committee could have come up with the revised fares, which would certainly have been lower than those notified by the MMOPL,” said an official, who requested anonymity.
The Centre has informed the court the committee will be formed by the end of the month, and it will come up with the revised fare structure by the end of April. Till then, the commuters will have to pay the increased fare between Rs10 and Rs40: Rs10 for the first 2km, Rs20 for 2-5km, Rs30 for 5-8km and Rs40 for a distance of more than 8km.
At the time of going to press, MMOPL, the operator, had not decided when the new fare structure would be introduced. For the past few months, MMOPL has been charging a promotional fare — Rs10-15-20.
The MMRDA had moved to the high court on July 9 last year. After the high court’s order, the MMRDA is mulling options to challenge the fare hike.
MMRDA commissioner UPS Madan said, “We will study the order and approach the advocate general for his opinion. Subsequently, in consultation with the state government, we will take the next step.”
A source in MMRDA informed the authority will either move the Apex court or wait for the committee to be formed.