The Colaba-Seepz Metro 3 project is set to officially start operations on April 1. However, with Tata Power proposing to hike tariffs, authorities are concerned that the passengers may ultimately have to pay the price for this by spending more on tickets. Keeping this in mind, officials from the Metro 3 project appeared before the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) for a public hearing on the matter. The officials requested MERC for a reduction in tariff while also asking them to waive off wheeling charges so as to make the project more “viable” for the commuters.
“Line 3 is an underground network where we have larger power requirement ranging from 90 MVA in 2021 to 110 MVA in 2025. The multi-year tariff proposal of Tata Power mentions an increase in energy charges…, which will be a huge burden. Any increase in power tariff will increase Metro fares, which will affect Mumbaikars,” Praphull Wagh, GM (electrical) of the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation, told MERC. “With these hikes, there will be an extra burden of Rs 46 crore in 2021 and Rs 80 crore in 2025,” he added.
Wagh also pointed out the disparity between the power tariff for Railways and Metro projects, suggesting that the former gets cheaper rates, asking “Why should the rate for Metro-3 in Mumbai be higher than the local railways?” It is said that MERC will make a decision on the tariffs proposals for a period of 5 years. Meanwhile, a Tata Power representative said that the tariff proposal was based on average cost of supply. The primary concern for Metro officials is that an increase in power tariffs could discourage citizens from using this mode of transport altogether.