BEST panel to discuss Duck buses, helipads, transport project | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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BEST panel to discuss Duck buses, helipads, transport project

Duck buses, helipads at bus depots and the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) will be back in discussion by Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), this committee meeting on Friday.

mumbai Updated: Apr 20, 2010 01:18 IST
Shashank Rao

Duck buses, helipads at bus depots and the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) will be back in discussion by Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), this committee meeting on Friday.

These projects have been pending for more than three months. The most recent four-month old proposal on helipads at bus depots will be taken up afresh. “We will take up these issues and get updates on these projects. We are planning to ask views of employees from BEST and BMC on steps to take before starting helipads at depots and proceed accordingly,” said BEST Chairman Sanjay Potnis.

The project went into a limbo after members in the BEST committee went against the proposal. According to the proposal, the BEST bus depots would be utilised as parking bay for helicopters when they are vacant. As a pilot project, land space was supposed to be allotted at Backbay depot. They even did a trial flight at Dharavi depot for checking its feasibility.

The BRTS that includes a dedicated road for buses apart from separate infrastructure would be fast-tracked. “We would have a joint meeting with Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority and the civic body to find solutions for implementing the BRTS as soon as possible. We will have to decide the roles of each agency before starting it,” added Potnis.

However, an official from BEST said on condition of anonymity, “BRTS has been planned for long but it always gets stuck in red-tape and clashes among agencies.”

The Transport Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil recently announced a new route for the BRTS at the Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road apart from the Western Express Highway and the Eastern Express Highway. The proposal of duck buses or amphibian buses that could run on sea as well as water is being considered for revival.

“We will discuss the reason behind refusal of permission by the marine department and try to find a solution,” added Potnis.

The Duck bus was to ride daily for 40 minutes on road and on the sea near the Gateway of India for 20 minutes. The speed of the bus would be nearly 50 kmph on road and 10 kmph in water.