Less than a month after starting operations, the city's newest mass transit, the Mumbai metro, which was very much lauded and then criticised for the inappropriate fare hike, has now started facing flak from the same citizens after one of its compartments witnessed a leakage.
Mumbai Metro has apologised for the inconvenience caused to commuters on the micro-blogging website Twitter, saying, "Mumbai Metro is committed to provide world class service. We are witnessing a few teething problems and trying to fix these things. It has already been rectified and the train would be operational tomorrow. We are here to serve you better and hope to make your monsoon journey hassle free."
Dear Mumbaikars, we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused. This issue was reported at 11 30 a.m. (cont) http://t.co/PyYRE87ErE
— Mumbai Metro (@MumMetro) July 2, 2014
Mumbai Metro, a joint venture between Anil Ambani's Reliance Infrastructure and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), was no stranger to controversy even before it began its services in June 2014, missing multiple deadlines because of changes in design and lack of approvals from the railways.
A controversy also erupted over its name. Reliance Infra wanted it to be named Reliance Metro, which was opposed by everyone. This issue was also raised by Deepak Sawant of the Shiv Sena in the legislative council. Finally, Reliance agreed to name it Mumbai Metro.
In addition, it took seven years for Reliance to complete the project, after the first phase of work started in 2007, and the actual work on the project began in February 2009. But progress was slow because of right of way issues, due to which the cost of the project almost doubled from Rs 2,356 crore to Rs 4,321 crore.
Social activist Anil Galgali said, "Reliance had promised to built a world-class metro, but just in one rain the leakage problem has started. If it had happened after few years, we would have understood. Metro has failed to provide better services to commuters. I have written to the Chief Minister's Office and received a reply stating that the query has been sent for necessary action."
Recently, Mumbai Metro was again in the news after it sought almost a two-fold increase in fares compared to the fare already notified by the state government. Following this, the state government has gone to court against the fare hike. MMRDA, which holds 26% stake in Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), challenged the operator's fare structure, arguing that it had suggested fares in the range of Rs 9 to Rs 13, but Reliance informed the court that fare between Rs 10 and Rs 40 was "legally justified, in public interest and reasonable".
Official spokesperson of Mumbai Metro said, “Inconvenience to the commuters caused yesterday have been taken seriously by Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL). One AC unit out of 128 AC units malfunctioned yesterday during heavy rains. It has been fixed and the train is in service since today morning. We have 64 cars in operation; each car has two AC units. We have rigorously checked all the 128 AC units yesterday night and found them in order. We are committed to provide our commuters the best of services in all condition.”