MMOPL carries out exercise against MMRDA’s wishes, defends decision.
Mumbai: After re-branding Western Express Highway (WEH) Metro station to Magicbricks WEH Metro station, the Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL), operator of Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro-1 corridor, has now re-branded the Andheri Metro station to Bank of Baroda Andheri Metro station.
This has been done despite the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) stating that MMOPL cannot do re-branding without its permission. However, MMOPL has said that it has the advertising rights and it is under its purview to practice re-branding of Metro stations.
In August 2016, when the re-branding of WEH Metro station was done, MMRDA had termed it to be a change in the name of the Metro station, however, MMOPL claimed that this does not amount to a change of name and was a mere branding exercise, where the brand name would only be associated with the Metro station as a temporary prefix or suffix.
However, the revenue earned by the operator by re-branding Metro stations would not be passed to the end consumers and would not have any effect on fare chart of travelling via Metro.
Pravin Darade, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, on Monday, said, “There has to be sharing of revenue if this is done. Even this time before (re-branding) MMOPL has not sought our permission. Also, we have sought clarification from Centre as to what should be done in such a situation.”
Meanwhile on Monday, the MMOPL said the re-branding is the marketing team’s initiative and is a regular exercise considering that it has the advertising rights. Earlier, in a letter sent to MMOPL in the context of re-branding of WEH Metro station, on July 29, 2016, MMRDA had stated, “It is seen that the Metro station will be renamed, which requires the state government’s permission. Also, a commercial angle is being added and this requires a positive vote from MMRDA.”