Refusing to grant any interim relief to Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) in the dispute regarding Metro fare, the Bombay high court on Monday kept the authority's petition for hearing on June 13.
MMRDA has sought relief against its partner and operator Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL).
Phase one of Metro rail, Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar, was inaugurated on Sunday amidst great fanfare. However, a dispute has arisen between MMRDA and its partner in the consortium Reliance Infrastructure regarding the ticket prices.
MMRDA counsel EP Bharucha mentioned the matter before justice RD Dhanuka on Monday who adjourned the hearing. MMOPL counsel JJ Bhat sought time to file reply by the next date of hearing.
In the arbitration petition, MMRDA has sought appointment of an arbitrator.
Under section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, any party can either before, during or after the arbitration seek interim relief from HC to secure the amount in dispute.
MMRDA is invoking this clause to settle its dispute with Rinfra.
According to MMRDA, the Metro fares were fixed at Rs9 (up to 3km), Rs11 (from 3km to 8km) and Rs13 (for more than 8km) and were accepted by the consortium, as was specifically mentioned in the Concession Agreement. However, the consortium has increased the fares to Rs10, Rs20, Rs30 and Rs40 for different travel distances.
MMOPL has offered a promotional fare of Rs10 for 30 days, irrespective of the distance travelled on the corridor for a one-way trip.
Meanwhile, RInfra, in a statement, said, "The initial fare has been fixed and notified as Rs10, Rs20, Rs30 and Rs40 under section 33 of the Central Metro Act, 2002. As per a central government directive, MMOPL is the Metro Railway Administration and the fare for the Mumbai Metro is to be fixed afresh by MMOPL for the initial opening of the line."