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HC reserves order on MMRDA plea challenging Mumbai Metro fares

The Bombay High Court today reserved its order on an arbitration petition filed by Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority opposing the fares of Versova-Ghatkopar section of Mumbai Metro which became operational this month.

MMRDA, a state agency, and Anil Ambani-led Reliance Infrastructure, both of whom are part of Mumbai Metro One Private Ltd, have had a disagreement over the fares. Justice R D Dhanuka today reserved the order till June 24 after hearing both sides.

While the state government wants minimum fare of Rs 9 and maximum fare of Rs 13, the Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd has announced higher fares ranging between Rs 10 to Rs 40. According to MMRDA, fares had been decided collectively by all the stake-holders earlier and RInfra cannot change them unilaterally without following a due procedure.

"The project is not set up for private profit. It is a joint project by the public and the private sector for the people. Therefore, they cannot raise the fares arbitrarily," said senior counsel E P Bharucha representing MMRDA. Bharucha said the fares can be revised only after a nod from Fare Fixation Committee.

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