Mumbai civic body rejects BEST’s ₹2,000-crore bailout plea
Mumbai city news: The demand was raised by BEST committee chairman Anil Kokil in a meeting with mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta and representatives of the labour unionsmumbai Updated: Jul 17, 2017 00:10 IST
The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking on Tuesday sought Rs2,000 crore from its parent body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), to bail itself out of the worst-ever financial crisis. The BMC, however, asked BEST to take steps to curtail losses.
The BEST is the second largest mode of mass transport in Mumbai after the suburban railways.
The demand was raised by BEST committee chairman Anil Kokil in a meeting with mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta and representatives of the labour unions. The demand, however, was turned down by the BMC administration.
Mahadeshwar told mediapersons that he will hold another meeting after 15 days to figure out a way to save the BEST.
“In the next meeting, we will find out a way to restructure the loss-making routes,” said Mahadeshwar.
The BEST Undertaking, that supplies electricity to 10 lakh consumers in the island city and provides bus service to entire city, is going through its worst-ever financial crisis. It has also failed to pay employees’ salary on time in the past few months.
The transport experts are stressing the need to save the BEST which is in crisis due to bad planning and loss of passengers over the past few years.
“Providing public transport to the city is the prime responsibility of the BMC. Hence, the BMC should extend support to bail out BEST,” said Ravi Raja, leader of the opposition in the BMC who is also a Congress nominated member on the BEST committee.
Kokil also pushed for merger of BEST budget with the BMC to overcome the financial crisis.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, slammed the Shiv Sena for the unfruitful meetings. “They are demanding financial aid without any concrete action plan. How it is possible that BMC will offer help?” said a BJP member of BEST committee.