The rise in the price of high speed diesel (HSD) by 63paise per litre, has added an additional monthly burden of Rs63 lakh on the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST).
With this, the annual fuel expenses for BEST would increase by nearly Rs 6 crore.
“Every Re1 increase in diesel prices would mean Rs1crore monthly burden on the BEST undertaking.
The recent hike is likely to add a burden of between Rs3 and 6crore,” a senior BEST official said, requesting anonymity.
In the past decade, BEST has suffered an accumulated loss of Rs3300 crore.
The losses in the year 2011-12 alone amounted to Rs847.76 crore.
In a BEST committee meeting held recently, Sanjay Ambole, chairman, suggested increasing the bus ticket prices, if diesel prices were to increase.
“Currently, the transport wing is losing Rs14 for every kilometer, but the bus tariff hike could be avoided if the state government assures us an annual subsidy,” Ambole said.
However, other committee members said increasing the tariff cannot be the only solution to reduce losses to the undertaking.
“This diesel hike was expected, with the rupee’s depreciating value against the dollar, but we cannot reduce losses through rise in tariffs. We should improve staff efficiency review rental policy and recover outstanding dues,” said Kedar Hombalkar, BEST committee member.
In the meeting, members also raised the issue of low rents for BEST-owned land.
“Most of our prime properties are rented for throw-away prices. The administration should review agreements and see if there is scope for increasing rents. This will increase revenue without burdening commuters,” added Hombalkar.
Apart from asking for a subsidy, Ambole a committee could be formed to look into different options of generating revenue.