Mumbai Metro | Fliers will now have to fund Mumbai Metro III project

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Mumbai: Amidst opposition by several stakeholders, the airport regulatory authority on Friday ordered the levying of additional Development Fee (DF) on passengers departing from Mumbai airport in order to fund the Rs518-crore Metro III project connecting the airport with South Mumbai.

The development will make flying expensive from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) as passengers flying on domestic and international flights will be charged Rs.120 and Rs.720, respectively, from April as against the earlier Rs100 and Rs600, said an order signed by Joy Kuriakose, deputy chief, Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA).

“After following the due process, AERA, in consultation with the stakeholders, approved the proposal to fund two Metro stations — one at the domestic terminal and the other at the international one. While fliers will bear the DF, MIAL will finance the construction of the Sahar Road station from their non-passenger revenue,” said a statement released by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) Limited on Friday. “It will give a boost to the larger project for speedier implementation,” said Ashwini Bhide, MMRC managing director.

The Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), which had earlier objected to financing the project, later agreed to do the same and had signed an MoU with the MMRC and sought sanction from AERA to fund the project by levying additional DF. The MMRC had proposed three underground stations in the CSIA area — domestic terminal (T1), international terminal (T2) and Sahar Road. As per the MoU signed on September 16 last year, MIAL had agreed to fund the construction cost of the Metro III stations to the tune of Rs777 crore subject to AERA’s approval.

The AERA order comes amidst concerns raised by several stakeholders in raising the DF, which will hurt passengers.

While the other private operators, MIAL and MMRC were in favour of the additional DF, airlines and individuals had principle objection over the fact that the Metro should be constructed by the state and not the MIAL as it is not exclusively meant for the use of passengers.

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