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Metro Fare Fixation committee ignores suggestions of MMRDA and citizens

The Fare Fixation committee constituted by the Central Govt for the Mumbai Metro One, the 1st PPP project implemented in the city for the Versova- Andheri -Ghatkopar corridor has given a royal ignore to the views of the Public who had represented before the committee on the issue of fare increase by the Mumbai Metro One. The worst scenario is that, the views of MMRDA, an partner in the project and headed by the Chief Minister have also not been found worth of a mention in the report of the Fare Fixation Committee, this has come to light due to the copy of report accessed by RTI Activist Anil Galgali. The text of the report gives credence to the rumour mills that the Fare Fixation committee itself is fixed.

Anil Galgali had sought a copy of the report submitted by the Fare Fixation committee from the MMRDA, which was provided to him by the institution. The 308 paged report was handed over to the CEO of the Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd by the Chairman of the Fare Fixation committee Justice E Padmanabhan on 8th July 2015. The Fare fixation Committee came into existence on 7th April 2015 after it was constituted by the central government. The committee met for the first time on 17th April 2015. On 24th April 2015 Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd submitted its application for fare increase to the FFC. After issuance of due notices on the 23rd and 24th April 2015, the 2nd meeting of the FFC was held on 30th April 2015 to finalize on appointments of the various technical advisers to assist on the proposal for fare hike.

Time up to 11th May was given to the FFC by Central Government. On 10th and 11th June hearing time was given to MMRDA, Public and other stakeholders to put up its suggestions and objections before the FFC. The various Technical advisers placed their report before the FFC from 30th May 2015 to 19th June 2015. The FFC wrapped up its Final meeting on 2nd and 3rd July 2015. On 8th July 2015 the FFC handed over its report to MMOPL. With the exception of Former Chief Secretary Jayant Banthia, the FFC Chairman Justice E Padmanabhan and Dr T K Vishwanathan supported the fare increase, discarding the views of the public, the FFC gave due cognizance to the views in support of fare increase by the L N Welingkar Institute, Price WaterHouse Coopers Pvt Ltd, IRSE and Sanjeev Kumar.

Galgali, in his views expressed that, as the FFC was fixed, the Mumbaikars who took out valuable time from their schedules to represent their views before the FFC during the hearing for opposing the fare hike, were not even found worth of having a mention in the final report. Further the report has no reference even to the say of MMRDA headed by the CM, which had entered into the PPP along with the MMOPL on the fare increase, also whether the MMRDA had represented itself before the FFC or not also does not have any mention. Galgali in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has demanded that the FFC be dissolved and a fresh committee be constituted to rethink the fare hike issue.

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