Reliance Infra-led Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), which built and runs Mumbai’s first metro route, has taken back its consent for an audit of Mumbai Metro by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
The development may lead to hurdles for the audit, which has been pending for over two years.
The state government officials said they did not know the reasons behind the MMOPL’s decision but maintained that the development will not impact the audit.
Nitin Kareer, principal secretary, urban development department, said “We do not know why MMOPL is not ready for the audit. It has not given reasons for taking back its consent. The metro fare hike is related to the project cost and so the CAG audit is necessary. We have written to the CAG several times and are hopeful it will be carried out in larger public interest.”
Meanwhile, MMOPL said the CAG audit was in conflict with the undergoing arbitration process with Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). The MMRDA is nodal agency for the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) metro line, which was developed by the MMOPL on public-private partnership mode.
An MMOPL spokesperson said, “MMOPL has communicated its viewpoint in light of recent court judgments as well as various other developments on the project to CAG and the state government. The matter regarding the increase in cost has already been referred to arbitrational tribunal by MMRDA. Therefore, no purpose will be served by CAG audit.”
Interestingly, the CAG has not started the audit process yet, despite requests by state chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and union ministry of urban development.