The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) will be receiving only 185 of the 303 new buses it had ordered from Tata Motors, as the undertaking has cancelled the order for 118 buses citing delay in delivery.
The administration informed its decision to BEST committee, the policy-making body of the century-old undertaking, on Thursday. BEST is supposed to spent Rs90 crore it received from the civic body for purchasing new buses.
However, Ravi Raja, senior Congress leader on BEST panel, alleged that the administration cancelled the order after the civic body refused to allot more funds for the project.
“The BEST management cancelled the order because its parent organisation, the BMC, refused to allot funds more than Rs90 crore,” said Raja. He also slammed the BEST administration for keeping the panel in the dark about the cancellation.
The BEST had made several changes to the design and interiors of the new single-decker buses it had ordered. The new buses will have several mobile charging points, LED lights, wider doors, centralised ventilation system and several other passenger-friendly features. The officials said each bus is worth Rs55 lakh. Sources added that while 75 of the 185 buses arrived last week, the rest would be joining the existing fleet by May-end.
Meanwhile, the committee also gave nod for scrapping 50 old buses whose chassis had developed cracks .
Sunil Ganacharya, senior BJP member on the BEST committee, alleged that the officials kept them in the dark about the poor condition of the old buses when the proposal for buying 303 buses was cleared last year.