Now, MMOPL changes track, says Metro will roll in Dec

The Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) Wednesday assured its board that the Metro will start in December irrespective of whether the state grants the fare hike the consortium has sought, officials who attended the board meeting said.

However, officials said, the MMOPL also requested that the state intervene at the earliest and consider its proposal for a 130 to 150 per cent hike in tariff it has been seeking.

"They (MMOPL officials) have urged the government to look into the issue as soon as possible, but have shown preparedness to de-link the issue of commissioning of the Metro line and the fare hike, and address the two things separately. They have shown their commitment to start the Metro in December. They have clarified that they will start the line in December irrespective of their proposal for a fare revision," said UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner at MMRDA.

As of now, the state has approved a fare structure of between Rs 9 and Rs 13 for the 11.4-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor. The MMOPL has asked for the fare to be in the Rs 22-33 bracket.

An MMOPL spokesperson said, "The first Mumbai metro project under public private partnership is progressing well. The project is likely to be commissioned in this financial year barring unforeseen circumstances and subject to receipt of all approvals."

The MMOPL is a consortium of Reliance Infrastructure, Veolia Transport and the MMRDA. While Reliance Infrastructure and Veolia Transport hold a 74 per cent stake in the consortium, the rest lies with the MMRDA. The MMOPL board meets quarterly and roughly consists of two representatives of MMRDA, three or four from Reliance Infrastructure, and the principal secretary of the state urban development department.

The cost of the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro was Rs 2,356 crore. However, due to a delay in completing the project, the cost has swelled by Rs 1,935 crore.

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