Mumbai: Metro One touches 600mn commuter mark in 6 years

Mumbai: Metro One (Ghatkopar-Andheri-Versova) has achieved the 600 million commuters mark in just 2,000 days (six years), said the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) on its Twitter handle recently.

Mumbai Metro One Private Ltd (MMOPL), which is led by a Reliance Infrastructure joint venture, was the first to be made operational on June 8, 2014.

MMRDA further applauded Metro One for becoming the first urban mobility medium of India for reaching this milestone and highlighted the significance of urban mobility in the future.

MMRDA’s tweet reads, “Congratulations to each Mumbaikar! Today Metro One has achieved 600 million commuter mark in less than 2,000 days! First to achieve this in India! Many more firsts in urban mobility are in the offing!”

MMRDA’s tweet was liked by several netizens. The tweet has so far received 320 likes and 81 re-tweets. Several others congratulated the authority for the achievement and also expressed that the fares now should be reduced.

A twitter user <\@>bhatiya_samose tweeted, “Even if we consider on an average a Rs 30 per ticket was spent, you have got back almost Rs 1,800 crore, which is little more than 1/3rd of total project cost.

Removing the operational cost, you have almost achieved 1/3rd in less than 2,000 days. I hope the prices are reduced in future.” Other Twitter users replied, “The way they are maintained, the station, train and comfort on this route, Rs 30 is justified in Mumbai.”

The 11.4 kilometres long Metro One corridor is the only one in Mumbai that is currently operational. This line’s fare is divided into four slabs of Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 30 and Rs 40.

In 2015, MMOPL had proposed the fare slabs of Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 25, Rs 35 and Rs 45 after the previous fare fixation committee (FFC) had allowed it to increase the fare and revise the structure between Rs 10 and Rs 110.

However, the Supreme Court in 2017 quashed the recommendations of the earlier FFC along with proposals made by MMOPL and asked for a new one to be formed.

The current FFC has Shiv Das Meena as the central government representative and a retired IAS officer BN Makhija and a retired judge Rekha Sondur Baldota as members. Interestingly, the new FFC in January restructured the fare, which was lower than the existing fare structure.

However, not satisfied with the committee’s decision, MMOPL has challenged it in the Bombay HC. The matter is now pending in the court for a final verdict.

MMOPL and MMRDA are caught in a legal battle over the actual cost of construction, with the former contending that it is over Rs 4,000 crore, while the latter claiming it to be around Rs 2,300 crore.

It is the country’s first metro to be built on a public-private partnership model by MMOPL, which is led by Reliance Infrastructure having a 69 per cent stake, followed by MMRDA with 26 per cent stake and Veolia with 5 per cent.

A Twitterati named <\@>sandeep_phadke also expressed concern over the crowd during peak hours. He tweeted, “Good to know this & best of luck.

However, the stations planning needs a thorough look. It’s quite scary in terms of the sheer numbers at Andheri & Ghatkopar in peak hours and god forbid something untoward does not happen due to the jostling and pushing!”