Metro fare war: RInfra wins, your journey may cost you double soon

While the High Court allowed the Metro operator, MMOPL, to hike the fare from the current rate of Rs 10-Rs 20 to Rs 10-Rs 40 from today, officials said no decision had been taken until 8 pm yesterday

Your Metro ride may soon set you back by twice as much as it used to. The Bombay High Court on Thursday rejected an appeal filed by the MMRDA seeking an order restraining Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) and its chief promoter Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra), from charging fares in excess of what had been agreed between MMOPL and MMRDA. MMOPL can thus, begin charging fares between Rs 10 and Rs 40, up from the current Rs 10-Rs 20, for the 11.04-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) Metro line 1 from today.

A ride from Versova to Ghatkopar, which used to cost R20, may set you back by R40 once the fares are increased
A ride from Versova to Ghatkopar, which used to cost Rs 20, may set you back by Rs 40 once the fares are increased

MMRDA’s plea to direct MMOPL to continue with the current fare structure of Rs 10, Rs 15 and Rs 20 for another three weeks was also rejected. Reacting to the judgment, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the state government may appeal against the order if need be.

Sources from MMOPL, requesting anonymity, however said that that no decision to increase the fare rates had been taken as of 8 pm yesterday and in case such a decision was taken, everyone would be informed about the same.

MMOPL’s proposed fare slabs were of Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 30 and Rs 40. A one-way ride from Ghatkopar to Versova or vice-versa, which used to cost Rs 20, could thus cost Rs 40. If the fares are increased, they will be in force till the time the Fare Fixation Committee, constituted by the Central Government, fixes the regular fare for the Mumbai Metro.

‘May appeal’
Reacting to the ruling, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “We are studying the HC judgement. We are also checking if the state pleader put forth our side properly. We want to assure the people that we are with them and if the need be, we will file an appeal against the order.”

MMRDA speak
“The Division Bench of the Hon Bombay High Court consisting of the Hon Chief Justice Mohit S Shah and Hon Justice B P Colabawalla, today, directed the Central Government to appoint Fare Fixation Committee before January 31, 2015, to discuss tariff for different distances on the 11.4-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro corridor.

The Division Bench further observed that such Fare Fixation Committee will decide appropriate tariff within a period of three months from its appointment,” a statement issued by MMRDA said. “We will see the detailed order and decide on our strategy from here on in consultation with the state government,” said a senior MMRDA official.

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