Barely a week after the civic polls, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking has proposed to increase the fare of its buses. The BEST administration proposed the hike in a committee meeting on Thursday. But the committee deferred the proposal.
The transport body has proposed an increase of Re1 to Rs6 for ordinary and limited buses. For air-conditioned travel, the BEST wants Rs10 to Rs15 more, while for express buses, it has proposed a hike of Rs5 to Rs6.
“We will take a decision only after studying the proposal,” said Sunil Shinde, BEST committee chairman. “We also want to create another source of revenue such as commercialising bus depots and advertisements.”
Sources said the new committee, which will be formed after the mayoral elections in second week of March, will take a decision on the issue.
A senior official said the fare hike would take place before April. “The civic elections were held recently and hence immediate hike will not be imposed,” said the official on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The Opposition is up in arms against the proposal. “Within a week of the elections, the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party combine has gifted the public a tariff hike,” said Ravi Kondu Raja, Congress leader and BEST committee member.
A proposal to increase power tariff was also tabled, but the committee did not discuss it. Shinde said in case of power tariff the committee had no veto power because the electricity regulator was authorised to determine the new tariff.