A poorly lit bus depot had caused the death of a 52-year-old Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) worker on January 11, BEST Committee members revealed at their meeting on Friday.
Around 8pm on January 11, Vasant Waghmare was run over by a BEST bus inside the Mumbai Central bus depot.
The accident took place while the driver was manoeuvering the bus into a packed depot. He failed to see the BEST worker due to insufficient lighting and hit him.
The accident was a result of the BEST’s energy-saving measures, committee members said. The administration had issued a circular to all bus depots last year, asking them to keep only 30% of the floodlights in depots switched on between 6.30pm and 11.30pm and between 3am and 6.30am. Between 11.30pm and 3am, 70% of the floodlights had to be kept switched on.
“Depot employees are forced to work with poor visibility,” Sunil Ganacharya, BEST committee member said at the meeting.
BEST general manager OP Gupta said, “A departmental inquiry will be initiated and action will be taken. A police complaint has been registered.”
A senior BEST official said, “We will attend to all dark spots in the depot. Since the BEST is in poor financial health, energy conservation measures had to implemented.”
Committee members said over-parking at depots was adding to the woes. The Mumbai Central depot has a capacity of 140 buses, but more than 200 buses from various departments are parked here. “The buses are parked so close that there is hardly any space for drivers, engineers or other staff to attend to the buses,” said Ganacharya.
The depot also has unlevelled surface and is ridden with potholes. “These problems were brought to the notice of administration around eight months ago, but no action has been taken,” said Ganacharya.