The state undertaking, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which holds 26 per cent stake in the Metro project, had filed an arbitration petition in the high court. The matter came up for hearing on Monday before a bench chaired by Justice R D Dhanuka.
MMRDA spokesman Dilip Kawathkar said, “MMRDA has filed a case in the Bombay High Court seeking appointment of an arbitrator as far as Metro fare is concerned.
MMRDA has claimed that the Metro fares were fixed at Rs 9 (up to 3 km), Rs 11 (from 3 to 8 km) and Rs 13 (for more than 8 km) and were accepted by the consortium — as was specifically mentioned in the concession agreement. However, the consortium has increased the fares to Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 30 and Rs 40.”
Reliance Infrastructure arm Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) spokesman also confirmed that the matter has been put to regular hearing on Friday.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, on the launch of 11.4-km-Versova- Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro services, had said MMRDA had filed petition against MMOPL for its unilateral decision to revise the fare. Chavan had insisted that the company should charge Rs 9, Rs 11, Rs 13 as proposed in the tender. He also added that the fares be fixed by the fare fixation committee chaired by the sitting or retired judge and member from the central government and Maharashtra government.
However, MMOPL had announced a promotional fare of Rs 10 for first 30 days irrespective of the distance for a single one-way trip between any two stations. Further MMOPL said, “The promotional fare was notwithstanding the initial fare fixed and notified separately. The initial fare has been fixed and notified as Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 30 and Rs 40 under Section 33 of the Central Metro Act 2002. According to a central government directive, the fares for the Mumbai Metro is to be fixed afresh by MMOPL for the initial opening of the line.”