The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking is under fire from all quarters over the frequent breakdown of its buses.
Members of the BEST’s standing committee have questioned the administration over poor maintenance of buses. Ravi Raja, a committee member pointed to the traffic police’s warning asking the BEST to ensure that there were no breakdowns.
Of the 2,392 breakdowns in August, 325 were because of problems with the engine, 322 due to fuel issues, 335 because of water and 555 because of transmission.
This despite the fact that 25% of the BEST’s fleet is new. Also, the estimated fuel loss was Rs2.8 crore for buses that ran on CNG and Rs93 lakh for those that ran on diesel. BEST officials confirmed that these figures are similar for the months after August. “Not enough technical staff has been recruited and there is shortage of funds to buy spare parts,” said Ravi Raja, explaining this scenario.
BEST’s general manager Om Prakash Gupta, however, didn’t find the figures alarming. “With 4,700 buses on the road together making thousands of trips, these 77 failures per day are bound to happen,” he said. “Our staff is adapting to new technology and with better maintenance, the rate of failure will decrease by next year. The fuel losses are due to traffic and bad roads.”