HYDERABAD: Adivision bench of Telangana High Court, on Wednesday, issued notices to the State and Central governments, Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited and Larsen and Toubro Metro Rail Limited, for filing counter affidavits in four weeks in the PIL filed alleging fixation of ticket charges of city metro rail in contravention of Concession Agreement entered between Telangana government and HMRL on Sept 4, 2010.
The bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy passed this order in the PIL filed by the Communist Party of India - Marxist, represented by Hyderabad city committee secretary M Srinivas Reddy, seeking to suspend operation of the present fare chart of the L&T Metro Rail Ltd dated Nov 25, 2017, in the larger interest of the public. About four lakh commuters are using the facilities and 57 stations are in operational.
The petitioner contended that the fare chart published by the Larsen and Toubro Metro Rail Ltd is illegal, arbitrary and contrary to the concession agreement signed during the erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh government in the year 2010. The initial price fixed for slabs had ranged from Rs 8 to Rs 19, but the fare chart notified later provides for 10 slabs escalating price multi-fold ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 60. In fact, the Central Government has provided viability gap fund (VGF) to the tune of Rs 1,458 crore and the L&T Metro Rail had received the same, hence it is not entitled to fix the ticket price more than what is prescribed under the Concession Agreement. Neither the State government nor the Centre or HMRL had raised any objection for utilisation of such funds by L&T in the name of VGF, he said.