Mumbai: The much-awaited Mumbai metro has got embroiled in a legal dispute over tariff, a day before commencement of its operations, with the state-run MMRDA moving the court against the operator over fare hike.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has said he would inaugurate the service, which is expected to ease traffic congestion on the city's roads and provide much-needed relief to commuters using the overburdened suburban railway, only if the operator—Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) agrees to stick to the “original” tariff quoted in the tender.
Debashish Mohanty, a Director of MMOPL, however, said they would go ahead with the launch of the service tomorrow even if the Chief Minister does not come for the inauguration.
“I have agreed to inaugurate the metro service on the condition that the company sticks to the tariff mentioned in the tender. If it wants to go for a hike, it should approach the tariff fixation committee justifying the reasons,” Chavan told reporters.
He said Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has moved the Bombay High Court against the hike and the matter would come up for hearing on Monday.
MMOPL is a joint venture company comprising Anil Ambani's Reliance Infrastructure, Veolia Transport and the MMRDA. “It has to be the decision of the CM (whether to inaugurate the service or not). We have invited him and are awaiting confirmation,” Mohanty said.
He said MMOPL, as the Metro Railway Administrator under the Central Metro Act, was within its rights to fix the tariff.