Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has expressed strong disapproval to the recent hike in metro fares recommended by the center-appointed fare fixation committee (FFC), saying the state government will challenge the decision in the Supreme Court.
Currently, Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd charges between Rs 10 and Rs 40 to travel on the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar route. The fare committee has reportedly suggested keeping the Rs 10 fare for Versova to DN Nagar and increasing it by Rs 10 for every subsequent station. This means the journey from Versova to Ghatkopar, which currently costs Rs 40, would cost Rs 110. MMOPL claims it will increase fares ‘gradually’, but the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which the CM heads, has been demanding much lower fares – Rs 9 to Rs 13.
Although the fare committee submitted its report to Mumbai Metro One on Wednesday, state government officials said on Saturday that they had not yet received a copy of the report. “It has not reached to me yet. But if this is a fact, it is totally unacceptable. We will challenge it in the Supreme Court,” said Fadnavis.
MMRDA plans to move the Supreme Court in the next few days and seek a stay on the implementation of the fare hike by Mumbai Metro One, which is headed by Reliance Infra.
Incidentally, the Supreme Court was scheduled to hear the Metro fare issue in the third week of July.
Transport expert Jagdeep Desai said, “Commuters will prefer to travel in auto-rickshaws once the new Metro fares are implemented. Even a car ride would cost less. The whole purpose of mass transport would be defeated.”