Shailesh Gandhi fights to bring Reliance Infra-led Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) under the ambit of RTI Act

Shailesh Gandhi, Activist
Shailesh Gandhi, Activist

Mumbai: The government’s contribution to the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro corridor is way more than what has been put up in front of the State Information Commission (SIC) by activist chief Shailesh Gandhi who is fighting to bring the Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) under the ambit of the Right to Information Act.

“The government has contributed Rs.133 crore representing 26% of the equity and also provided a ‘Viability Gap Funding’ of over Rs.500 crore in MMOPL,” states a written submission by former central info commissioner Gandhi.

Responding to a query by dna on public money contributed to the project, Dilip Kawathkar, spokesperson of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, said, “MMRDA has paid Rs130 crore out of Rs133 decided initially towards its 26% stake in MMOPL. This is apart from the Viability Gap Funding of Rs.650 crore that has been paid to the MMOPL.”

On the issue of SIC hearing the issue, an official statement by MMOPL read, “We shall be sharing all information as per the applicable law. In this regard, the matter is pending before the Information Commission.”

Additionally, an MMOPL spokesperson shared, “The completed project cost is about Rs.4,000 crore out of which Rs.3,300 crores were funded by MMOPL and its lenders; the increase in cost (of Rs.1,600 crore) has been solely funded by MMOPL and its lenders without any recourse to MMRDA or government.”

Interestingly, the legal representatives of MMOPL did not put forward the funding figures in front of the SIC on February 23, but shared it with mediapersons after the hearing. MMOPL’s representatives only sought for an adjournment of the hearing. The next hearing with the division bench of SIC is scheduled today.

Gandhi had filed an RTI application in December with the MMOPL, which in turn asked him to approach MMRDA. As a result, he filed a complaint with the SIC, for which the first hearing was scheduled on February 23.