Mumbai: Mumbai Metro during trial run from Versova to Ghatkopar in Mumbai on Saturday. PTI Photo (PTI11_9_2013_000136B)
Mumbai: Mumbai Metro during trial run from Versova to Ghatkopar in Mumbai on Saturday. PTI Photo (PTI11_9_2013_000136B)

MMOPL has not increased the fare to the recommended tariff yet and has put it on hold till Oct 31

Mumbai : The ongoing battle over fare fixation between the city’s development authority and the Reliance Infrastructure-led operator of the city’s first Metro service has entered a new stage. On Monday, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court on the steep fare structure recommended by the Fare Fixation Committee (FFC).

The committee has recommended an increase in fare by Rs 10 for every subsequent station, and so the fare between Versova and Ghatkopar could go up to Rs 110, which is much higher than the current fare of Rs 10-40 on the 11.4 km corridor.

Confirming the development, Sanjay Sethi, Additional Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, said, “We have filed a writ petition. Basically, we have said that the recommendations of the committee are injudicious.” The FFC was constituted under the guidelines of the Union Ministry of Urban Development. The three-member FFC has been made the respondent in the petition.

A senior official of the MMRDA added that their contention is that Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd. (MMOPL) should stick to the fare structure decided on November 9, 2013 in accordance with the concession agreement signed between MMOPL and the state government.

“We were basically challenging the maximum fare of Rs 40 as being too high. A tariff of Rs 110 is extremely unreasonable and will be unaffordable for commuters,” the MMRDA official said.

Meanwhile, MMOPL has not increased the fare to the recommended tariff yet and has put it on hold till October 31. In the meantime, MMOPL has sought operational and capital subsidies from the state government, stating that subsidies from the government will help the operator keep the fares low.

Earlier this month, Minister of State (Urban Development) Ranjit Patil, along with the metropolitan commissioner and others, met M. Venkaiah Naidu, the Union Minister of Urban Development, requesting the MoUD to review the recommendations of the FFC.

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