Mumbai Metro to be accountable under RTI Act

In a far-reaching decision, the State Information Commissioner has passed an order bringing Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) under the RTI Act.

With Mumbai Metro coming under the under the ambit of RTI, it will allow people seeking to know the amount spent on the construction of the 11.07 km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) Metro line or any other information access to it through RTI.

A spokesperson for the Reliance Infrastructure-led MMOPL said, "We have not received any such order from the State Information Commissioner."

Chief Information Commissioner states, "The commission allows the application and directs the MMOPL to take all necessary measures , including the appointment of PIOs in accordance with section 4 of RTI Act forthwith and also furnish the information demanded by complainant with a period of one month from the receipt of this order."

RTI activist Shailesh Gandhi had filed a compliant with the Maharashtra Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and demanded that Mumbai Metro operator be made a public body since it performs a public function and has been funded by the government and is thus amenable to judicial law and review.

The activist filed the complaint with CIC after his RTI query was turned down by MMOPL and the activist was asked to contact MMRDA for the information he had demanded.

“As per the section 2 (h) (i) and (ii) of RTI Act, if a government provides funds to a body directly or indirectly, the body is considered as public authority and it comes under ambit of the Act. In case of Mumbai Metro, the government has given financial assistance of Rs633 crore- Rs133 crore as equity and Rs500 crore as viability gap funding- to MMOPL,” Gandhi had said.

Gandhi had also pointed out that three of the eight directors in MMOPL are bureaucrats who are supposed to control its operations.

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