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MMRDA appeals to HC for overturning fare order

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has filed a petition before a division Bench of the Bombay High Court, challenging the judgement delivered by Justice R D Dhanuka, upholding Mumbai Metro fares fixed by Reliance Infrastructure arm Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL).

“The petition has been filed before the division bench,” an MMRDA official told Business Standard. The petition is expected to come up for hearing on Monday.

MMOPL started operations on the 11.4-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar route from June 7, with the promotional fare of Rs 10 until July 7. The fares of Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 30 and Rs 40, depending on distances, would come into effect from July 8.

The high court had upheld the initial fares of Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 30 and Rs 40 depending on distance fixed and notified for the Mumbai Metro by MMOPL under Section 33 of the Central Metro Act. The court dismissed the MMRDA’s arbitration plea against MMOPL’s decision to fix fares.

MMRDA, with 26 per cent stake in the Mumbai Metro One project, had said the fares were earlier fixed at Rs 9 (up to 3 km), Rs 11 (from three to eight km) and Rs 13 (more than eight km) and were accepted by the group — as mentioned in the concession agreement.

Further, MMRDA argued that the fare revision would be indexed at 11 per cent every fourth year. The fare notification based on these principles for the entire concession period was under issue by the Maharashtra government and that would form part of the concession agreement.

On the other hand, MMOPL had said that  it was duty-bound to fix the initial fare since it was the metro rail administrator under the provisions of the Metro Act. MMOPL had defended the fare fixationm, citing the rise in the project cost to Rs 4,300 crore from Rs 2,356 crore.

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