Mumbai: Reliance Infrastructure, involved in Mumbai’s metro project, today faced the ire of Republican Party of India (Athawale) for using its brand name and logo on metro trains and stations, but defended its action.
Workers of RPI, part of Shiv Sena-BJP-led Opposition alliance in Maharashtra, staged a protest at a metro station in suburban Andheri and blackened the name of ‘Reliance’.
The private company condemned the “unlawful” act of RPI workers, who it said destroyed metro property.
RPI President Ramdas Athavale objected to the embossing of ‘Reliance Metro’ on trains as well as platforms and demanded that it be replaced with ‘Mumbai Metro’ instead.
Athavale told reporters that he has asked Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Reliance Infrastructure officials to make the necessary changes with in seven days.
“Otherwise, we will stop the ongoing work (on metro project),” the former State Minister warned.
The Anil Ambani-owned infrastructure firm owns a majority (69 pc) stake in Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), which has been incorporated for implementing the project.
State-run Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) holds 26 per cent equity share in MMOPL, while the rest (5 pc) is held by Veolia Transport RATP Asia.
MMRDA has also objected to Reliance Infrastructure’s name being used on trains and platforms and served a notice to the company in this regard.
Athavale said his party would launch a signature drive in support of its demand.
When contacted, a MMOPL spokesperson defended the use of Reliance Metro logo on trains and platforms. “MMOPL has been rightfully using the Reliance Metro logo. That is within the contract condition and as per industry practice,” he said.
“Today, outside one of our metro stations, a few people affiliated to a political party created a ruckus and destroyed metro property. This act was unlawful and highly condemnable. We brought this to the notice of authorities concerned like Police and MMRDA,” he added.
The first phase, covering Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar section, was awarded on Public-Private-Partnership basis to RInfra-led consortium in 2007. The contract entails design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of about 12km elevated metro with 12 stations enroute.