The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) got a new chairman on Monday.
Sunil Shinde, 49, a Shiv Sena corporator from Lower Parel, was elected as chairman on the BEST committee by a majority of nine votes beating the Congress candidate Masood Ansari. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena member, Prakash Patankar, chose to be neutral in the election.
Shinde took over from Sanjay Potnis, and has been a BEST committee member since 2007.
Shinde said providing electricity to developing areas in south Mumbai and south central Mumbai is a big task. He added that getting the infrastructure in place and making the transport department economically independent will be a priority.
“South Mumbai is developing really fast. We will inspect the areas and building sub-stations to provide electricity there. I will also try to strike a dialogue with the state government to get subsidies for the transport department,” said Shinde.
Shinde also agreed that parking buses is a major problem with 1,000 new buses being added to its fleet under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) without proper infrastructure.
“There are plans to build new depots,” said Shinde. BEST, which has a fleet of 4,699 buses, still required four additional depots to accommodate its fleet completely.