The Bombay High Court allowed the Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) to charge increased tariff on the suburban Versova-Ghatkopar corridor.
The HC accepted the argument that MMOPL was incurring losses to the tune of Rs. 85 lakh per day.
About 2.65 lakh commuters travel daily on the 11.4-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar route, the first phase of Mumbai metro, according to the information given by RInfra lawyer.
MMOPL, a joint venture between RInfra and MMRDA (the infrastructure arm of Maharashtra government), will now charge the fares of Rs. 10, Rs. 20, Rs. 30 and Rs. 40, as decided by its board earlier, against the existing promotional fares of Rs. 10, Rs. 15 and Rs. 20.
The division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and B P Colabawalla dismissed MMRDA’s appeal against a single bench’s order which had said the government had no right to decide the fare.
MMRDA lawyer Aspi Chenoy sought a stay on the order for filing an appeal in the Supreme Court but the judges declined.
The bench also directed the Union Government to appoint fare fixation committee (FFC) before January 31. The FFC shall fix the eventual fares within three months, the court said.
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 appeal against the order.”
According MMRDA, MMOPL had agreed on a structure where the fares would be Rs 9 (up to 3 km), Rs 11 (from 3 to 8 km) and Rs 13 (for more than 8 km).