Pressure is mounting on Reliance Infrastructure to change the name of metro rail project, with a senior minister in the Congress-NCP led Maharashtra government joining the chorus of Opposition leaders making similar demand.
Maharashtra’s Minority Development Department minister Arif Naseem Khan in a letter to Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) said, “The name of the metro should be ‘Mumbai Metro’ instead of ‘Reliance Metro’ in view of tremendous opposition from the public.” The Minister said there was a large scale discontent among common people in the suburbs after learning that the name Reliance Metro is being given to the metro.
Khan has joined a growing chorus of leaders making the demand. Recently, Shiv Sena had demanded that the metro be named ‘Mumbai Metro’.
In a letter to Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, Sena had said that Mumbai’s first metro line should not be called ‘Reliance Metro’, referring to the company’s logos at all metro stations.
Sena leader Subhash Desai said, “RInfra is not the owner of the project. They are playing the role of a developer and are in an agreement with government agencies.” Maharashtra state government and the union government have shared money for the project and public money has been utilised, Desai said.
Also, though the special purpose vehicle created has RInfra, Veolia and MMRDA as partners, nowhere in the SPV’s name is the word ‘Reliance’ used, the Sena leader said.
Recently, Shiv Sena’s ally Republican Party of India (Athawale) had also staged protests, demanding that the project be renamed as the ‘Mumbai Metro’.