BEST might have to wait a while before procuring 200 new air-conditioned buses for its fleet, in view of the recent Supreme Court verdict that demanded the removal of tinted films from windscreens of vehicles.
The BrihanMumbai Electric Supply and Transport undertaking (BEST) had submitted a proposal before the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA), seeking approval for advertisements on the side windows of the AC buses. BEST was to get the new buses in lieu of advertising rights.
The BEST administration had sought the MMRTA’s permission for full-body wrap advertisements, other than a 600mm space on the side window glasses on the new buses, that were to be procured from private firms. However, when the issue came up for discussion in a meeting on September 20, MMRTA members unanimously decided to put the proposal on hold.
VN More, transport commissioner and member of the MMRTA, said the authority has decided to send the proposal to the law and judiciary department.
As the windows of the new air-conditioned buses are 3ft or more in size, the exclusion of only 600mm on the window could end up as contempt of the Supreme Court’s verdict, said sources.
The BEST administration had also moved an application for the transport authority’s approval to advertise on side windows of those buses while inviting applications for the procurement of the buses, to avoid problems later.
In September 2010, the undertaking had signed a similar deal with a private firm but the firm had backed out after advertising was disallowed.
Despite repeated attempts, BEST general manager OP Gupta remained unavailable for comment. BEST committee chairman Ashok Patil said they don’t plan to put up ads on window panels of the new buses that will be procured.