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Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis to challenge metro fare hike plan in Supreme Court

Mumbai(PTI): The dispute between Reliance Infra- led Mumbai Metro One Private Limited and the state is set to intensify with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis saying that his administration will challenge the proposal to increase fares up to Rs 110 for the 11.4-km metro service, in the Supreme Court.

The Fare Fixation Committee has recommended a tariff structure of Rs 10-110 for the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro, which is an over threefold increase over the present fare of Rs 10-40.

“The FFC recommendations have not yet reached me. But if this is the fact it is totally unacceptable. We will challenge it in the Supreme Court. If any such decision is taken before the special CAG audit is conducted, it will not be in the best interest of commuters,” Fadnavis said.

The project, which is a public private partnership model, has been embroiled in controversy over fare fixation as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority insisted on Rs 9-13 fare as per the concession agreement, while the operator fixed the rates at Rs 10-40 as per the Metro Act. The MMRDA later challenged the fares that MMOPL fixed in the Bombay High Court and then in the Supreme Court, which set a deadline for the FFC to come up with its recommendations.

However, the state government has decided to challenge the FFC recommendation in the Supreme Court. A spokesperson of the Anil Ambani Group- run MMOPL, said they are examining the FFC report submitted on July 8, and will work towards a phased implementation of the new fare recommendations.

“We will go in for a gradual fare increase together with the mitigating impact of potential real estate development and subsidy from the state, and keeping in mind at all times the overall interest of the commuters,” the company said in a statement.

According to an expert involved in the process of determining the tariff, the decision was taken on the principles of sustainability and affordability.

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