You may soon get to ride in swanky new buses.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has sanctioned a loan of Rs 88.39 crore to the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) to purchase 468 new CNG buses.
At present the BEST Undertaking requires more than 1,500 new buses to
cater to the growing population of the city.
Most of these buses are being brought to run on the Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS).
Transport experts feel that the state government is
not pushing ahead for this
Meanwhile the BEST Undertaking has also received funding under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project to procure an additional 644 buses.
“In our Executive Committee meeting we have sanctioned the loan amount for a period of six years. We will levy an interest of eight per cent on this loan,” Metropolitan Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad said.
BEST had recently requested the MMRDA to provide financial assistance for the
purchase of 468 CNG equipped buses. MMRDA plans to
recover the loan in 12 installments.
BEST said this loan would help the organisation to improvise its fleet.
“We will be using this money to purchase CNG buses,” BEST Chairman Dilip Patel said.
Chief secretary J.P.Dange heads MMRDA’s executive committee.
More than 250 new buses including air-conditioned, Kinglong buses and normal buses are expected to join the fleet of more than 3,600 by March.
BEST’s existing fleet is already facing a problem of parking. These buses are
likely to be parked at Anik depot, which is the largest in the city.
The executive committee has also decided to extend the services of financial advisory group, KPMG for a period of two years.
MMRDA had appointed KPMG to undertake a complete financial viability study of projects that are currently being implemented and of those projects, which will be undertaken in the near future.
Their tasks included study of possibility of self-finance, appropriate investments and also of the possible return on investments.
Their task also required finding out the best possible ways to make use of the available resources.