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MMRDA spends Rs. 1.45 cr to oppose Metro’s proposed fare hike

The MMRDA has incurred legal expenses of nearly Rs 1.46 crore to oppose the fare increase proposed by Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), an RTI query has revealed.

Mumbai Metro One, the public-private partnership project undertaken by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), has run into legal hassles over the fare hike proposed by it.

The current fare on the Mumbai Metro 11.4 kms Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor is Rs. 10 to Rs. 40. The fare fixation committee, which was formed to recommend the new fares, has suggested a revision to Rs. 10 to Rs. 110.

The MMRDA has incurred legal expenses of Rs. 1,45,94,321 till now to oppose the unilateral fare hike proposed by the JV company, as per the information provided to RTI Activist Anil Galgali.

Galgali had sought information from the MMRDA regarding the various costs incurred by it till now on cases filed by it against the proposed fare hike of Mumbai Metro One.

The MMRDA administration, in its reply to Galgali, informed that it appointed M/s Khaitan and Co as its advocates to file cases on the fare hike proposed by Mumbai Metro One in courts and other forums, and has paid them Rs. 1,44,94,321 as fees and other expenses.

In support of the cases, MMRDA Additional Chief K Vijayalaksmi, Joint Project Director Yogita Paralkar and Superintending Engineer M C Devaroo had been present in the court, on which Rs. 1,00,000 expenses were incurred.

Thus, a total of Rs. 1,45,94,321 has been spent on advocates and officials with regard to these cases, Galgali said.

Inspite of spending such a huge amount on the cases filed by MMRDA, it has failed to get any respite in the matter, the RTI activist pointed out.

Unless and until a modification is enacted in the Metro Act, the MMRDA will have no control on the fares of Mumbai Metro One, he claimed.

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