MMRDA, Reliance Infrastructure war over fare

मुंबई Mumbai: The issue of fares for the soon-to-be inaugurated Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) metro is expected to get knotty in the days to come with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and Reliance Infrastructure (Rinfra) taking diametrically opposite positions on the subject.

The MMRDA contends that the terms and conditions of the original concession agreement will have a say in the issue even as the Metro Railway (Operations and Maintenance) Act, 2002, under which the Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) has been made metro administrator gives the latter the right to fix the first set of fares without outside interference. MMRDA chief UPS Madan told the metro fares will be subject to the notification issued recently. “The notification was issued recently with a revision in ticket prices. The fare notification is final and binding,” he said.

The MMOPL, in its interaction with the press last month, made it clear that since the project was brought under the Metro Railways Act (MRA), 2002, the state government notification for the implementation of the project under the Tramways Act is ‘deemed to have been superseded with effect from November 18, 2013’. According to the MMOPL, it means the first fares would be governed by sections 33 and 34 of the MRA.

Madan, however, said that even as MRA, MMOPL will be subject to terms and conditions of the concession agreement. “After all its existence as MRA is because of the concession agreement, which cannot be ignored because the Metro Railway Act has come into force now. State government officials will meet RInfra officials soon to discuss the fare issue,” Madan said.