Revenue department officials tried to seal the Malvani depot of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) along with bank accounts on Thursday. This was done to recover pending cost of the depot land.
A team of the Borivli tehsildar office sealed the record room and other offices at the depot and had also tried sealing the BEST bank account but it was put on hold after an interaction between higher officials of BEST and the suburban collector office.
BEST officials said that this did not affect bus operations. Sources, however, said that the operations were hit for a brief period.
BEST has pending dues for a 40,467.24 sqm land that is reserved for a bus depot and staff quarters in P-west ward.
According to BEST, the undertaking had taken possession of only 28,024 sqm of the land from the Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (MHADA) in April 1986. They had paid all dues for the land at that time and built the depot and staff quarters on it later.
An offocial from BEST said that the revenue department was asking BEST to pay Rs10 crore, along with interest, for all of the land, when it had already paid its dues at the time of possession.
“As BEST has already paid the value for 28,024 sqm of the land to MHADA, the government should recover the amount from the authority,” said the official. He added that the decision on handing over the remaining land to BEST was still pending with the government.
The revenue department, however, said that the government owns the land, but it had not received payment from BEST. “As BEST claimed that it had paid the MHADA, we put our action on hold,” said Deependra Singh Kushwah, collector of Mumbai suburban district.