BEST proposes to hike bus fare, electricity tariff | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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BEST proposes to hike bus fare, electricity tariff

In a move that could pinch your wallets, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) undertaking has now proposed a dual hike, in its electricity and bus tariff, as part of its 2012-13 budget outlay.

mumbai Updated: Oct 08, 2011 01:17 IST
HT Correspondent

In a move that could pinch your wallets, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) undertaking has now proposed a dual hike, in its electricity and bus tariff, as part of its 2012-13 budget outlay.

According to the administration, the Re1 hike in the minimum bus fare and the 15% rise in the electricity tariff are imperative to improve the finances of the undertaking.

With the upcoming civic elections, the bus tariff may not rise anytime soon, but the BEST administration has sent a petition with the proposed electricity tariff hike to the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC).

While the corporators and members of the BEST committee opposed the proposal, general manager of BEST, OP Gupta, while presenting the budget on Friday, said that the hikes could provide the much-required boost to the undertaking’s critical financial condition.

According to the budget estimates, the undertaking stares at a total deficit of Rs724.28 crore for 2011-12, collectively for its transport and electricity wing. If the proposed hikes were to be implemented with immediate effect, the deficit would come down to Rs256 crore in 2012-13, said BEST officials.

Meanwhile, the undertaking also announced two new bus routes that would assist both officegoers and tourists. Titled Fort Ferry 1 and 2, one of the two services would ply to CST, Ballard Pier, NCPA, Churchgate and return to CST via Hutatma Chowk. The other service would take the anti-clockwise route, starting from CST, but heading towards Churchgate through Hutatma Chowk, NCPA, Ballard Pier and back to CST.

A senior BEST official said, “The routes are popular with both officegoers and tourists, who shell out Rs10 for a seat in these cabs. So, the idea is to break the share-a-cab monopoly.”

The undertaking also plans to use only low-floor star buses to attract the commuters. BEST officials said that Fort Ferry 1 would have the name written on the bus in white, while the second service would have the name in yellow. The undertaking would charge a flat rate of Rs5 on both these routes, whereas a monthly pass would cost Rs250.

Corporator and former BEST committee chairman Dilip Patel said, “We will oppose the fare hike. The services on the new routes would be inaugurated soon.”