The tussle over the new Metro fare continues. In the next few days, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will move the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the implementation of the new Metro fare by Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), which operates the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar line.
The Centre-appointed fare-fixation committee (FFC) is learnt to have fixed the Metro fare between Rs 10 and Rs 110. The MMOPL, which is currently charging between Rs 10 and Rs 40, is likely to implement the new fare soon since, technically, it overrides the old fare, in accordance with the the Central Metro Act.
The MMRDA has been demanding a fare between Rs 9 and Rs 13, in accordance with the concession agreement. The MMOPL has been saying its calculations are based on the cost of construction and the operation of Mumbai’s first Metro and the rate of return on the investment made in the project.
MMRDA additional commissioner Sanjay Sethi said, “We have come to know about the manifold hike in Metro fare through news reports. We are going to approach the Supreme Court to get a stay on the implementation of the new fare.”
Incidentally, the apex court is scheduled to conduct a hearing on the Metro fare issue in the third week of this month.
The committee reportedly suggested an increase in fare by Rs 10 for every subsequent station, so the fare between Ghatkopar and Versova can go up to Rs 110. However, the MMOPL said it will carry out a ‘gradual fare increase’.
In January this year, the Bombay high court upheld the MMOPL’s argument, allowing it to charge a higher fare — Rs 10 to Rs 40. The MMOPL charged a promotional fare — Rs 10 to Rs 20 — till January 8 of this year. On March 16, the Supreme Court allowed the MMOPL to charge a higher fare and directed the FFC to come up with a revised fare by July 10.