The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) plans to take over Mumbai Metro’s Line-1, which is currently operated by Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL). The MMRDA is in the process of appointing a consultant to study the feasibility of taking over the operations, which it believes will facilitate better coordination with the new Metro lines which will be coming up in the near future and seamless transition of passengers from one line to another.
MMOPL is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), in which Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) group company R-Infra owns 69% stake, MMRDA 26% and French company Veolia Transport 5%.
A senior MMRDA official said, “At the end of the year, we hope to make two more lines of Mumbai Metro operational which are Line 7 between Dahisar (East) to Andheri (E) and Line 2 (A) between Dahisar West and D N Nagar and both these lines intersect with line 1, so to facilitate seamless transfer of passengers between all three lines and have a common fare structure it is imperative to have one authority which operates all three lines.”
He also added that in order to do the due diligence, MMRDA wanted to appoint a consultant and had issued an advertisement to this effect but got no response. A fresh advertisement will be issued shortly.
Line 1 history
Though then Prime Minister Mamohan Singh laid the foundation stone for the project in 2006, the actual work could only begin in February 2008. MMOPL got the right of way to do the construction on entire 11.3 kilometers stretch only in October 2012. The MMRDA and MMOPL are at loggerheads over issues like cost of the line and fare structure.
The MMOPL claims, issues like delays in environmental clearance, land acquisition, obtaining right of way and shifting of utility lines lead to time delays and cost escalation. Both parties are also engaged in a legal battle over fare fixation in Bombay High Court.
Though currently Metro Line 1’s operations are suspended due to the lockdown, earlier, around five lakh commuters used to commute by the Metro on week days. In five years since it began operations in June 2014, Mumbai Metro Line 1 crossed the 60 crore ridership mark in October last year.