Metro staffers and the security personnel guarding the transport system were in a tizzy for 24 hours between July 28 and 29 after they were asked to cough up the fares for travel on the Ghatkopar-Versova corridor.
The surprise on their part was palpable as employees of Mumbai Monorail, Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) and the Indian Railways are allowed to travel free in these modes of transport.
Sources said Metro authorities decided to charge 'everyone' after they found some Reliance Energy employees, who are not part of the Mumbai Metro, travelling ticketless taking advantage of their similar-looking identity cards.
"The moment this was notified to the staff there was uneasiness among us. The staff, including the Maharashtra Security Force objected to the circular. Following protests, the higher-ups finally withdrew the rule," said a source from the security force.
However, before the withdrawal of the decision, some of the employees had paid the fare. "Because of the circular I had to buy a coupon at Ghatkopar Metro Station so that I could go to the station where I have been posted," said an MSF guard.
According to a Mumbai Metro official, there wasn't any ticket-checking drive during the initial weeks as they wanted people to experience the Metro. "We had decided earlier that once the system starts stabilising, we will start penalising ticketless travellers, which has now started."
A senior Mumbai Metro official, when contacted was unavailable for clarification on why the decision not to permit the staff involved in the project to travel free of cost was taken.