Mumbai: MMRDA Refuses To Share Johny Joseph Panel Report On Metro One Acquisition

Mumbai: MMRDA Refuses To Share Johny Joseph Panel Report On Metro One Acquisition

RTI activist Anil Galgali had asked for a copy of this report, MMRDA clarified that these documents cannot be made available as they are commercial in nature.

Bhalchandra ChorghadeUpdated: Sunday, April 21, 2024, 10:39 PM IST
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Navi Mumbai Metro | Representational image

Mumbai: Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has refused to share Johny Joseph report on Mumbai Metro One, the city's first metro project launched in 2007 under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model. RTI activist Anil Galgali had asked for a copy of this report, MMRDA clarified that these documents cannot be made available as they are commercial in nature.

Mumbai Metro One as been the subject of controversies between the joint venture partners. Recently, the state cabinet approved a report by retired IAS officer and former chief secretary Johny Joseph, which valued R-Infra's stake at Rs 4,000 crore. The project is a joint venture between MMRDA and Reliance Infra wherein 26 percent share was if MMRDA while the remaining 74 percent with the private player.

As per the concession agreement signed on March 7, 2007 between MMRDA and Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), the total cost of the constructed project was calculated at Rs 2,356 Crore.

Galgali had asked MMRDA for a copy of the report submitted by Joseph. MMRDA Deputy Transport Engineer Gajanan Sasane informed Galgali after 1 month of the RTI application that these documents could not be made available as they were commercial in nature.

In January 2023, Sasane had informed Galgali that the acquisition process is in progress and information will be given once the process is completed.

According to documents provided by Sasane to Galgali under Right to Information (RTI) at that time, Reliance Infrastructure had requested MMRDA to acquire Mumbai Metro One by making an offer in July 2020. The first metro contract in Mumbai has an equity structure of 70:30, equity structure. The total cost of the metro was 2355 crores.

The committee formed by the Maharashtra government included former chief secretary Johny Joseph, the then Additional Chief Secretary Bhushan Gagrani and Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) Executive Director R Ramana. The state cabinet approved a report by the committee which valued R-Infra's stake at Rs 4,000 crore.

According to Galgali, MMRDA did not listen to the views of common citizens in such a big deal and now even after the approval of the cabinet, the report is not being shared publicly. The government is incurring a loss of Rs 1600 crore due to this report.

"After all, on what basis was the valuation of Rs 4,000 crore decided? This can become known only after the report becomes public. Such a deal required legal advice as MMRDA and MMOPL were not on good terms since 2007," he said and demanded that the government should approve this deal only after making the report public and taking people's opinion and suggestions.

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