State forms committee to redevelop BEST properties | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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State forms committee to redevelop BEST properties

Jul 05, 2024 07:18 AM IST

State govt forms committee to study BEST properties redevelopment, lands leasing for commercial and housing complexes. BJP MLC raises financial issues.

Mumbai: The state government has established a committee to study how the properties of Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) can be redeveloped, and lands can be given on lease for commercial and housing complexes.

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The committee will consist of BEST general manager Anil Diggikar, and municipal commissioner Bhushan Girgani, with two MLCs, including BJP MLC Prasad Lad and Shinde. Minister Uday Samant said that the committee would be constituted under Gagrani and would have to submit the report in 30 days.

BJP MLC Prasad Lad raised the issue in the legislative council saying that the BEST bus service is a lifeline of this city and there is a financial burden of more than 1,000 crore on BEST. He said that BEST had no money to pay dearness allowance and gratuity. Moreover, 800 workers have been working as temporary workers for many years and have not been accommodated in government service despite court orders.

BEST has 27 depots and 27 staff colonies which are in bad shape and need attention. Lal suggested that agencies like the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) could develop these colonies and depots and give lands on lease. He cited examples of Navi Mumbai when then-commissioner Abhijit Bangar redeveloped depots and earned an income of 800 crore for Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT).

Lad also said that BEST could redevelop its colonies and give houses on ownership to employees at 15 lakh and these colonies can be developed like BDD chawls or police housing.

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