BEST gets a pat on the back

The WB is financing additional buses for Mumbai roads out of the unutilised loan, reports Rajendra Aklekar.
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Updated on Jan 30, 2007 02:22 AM IST
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None | By Rajendra Aklekar, Mumbai

There is some good news for BEST commuters: The Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking is adding 138 buses to its fleet.

Happy with undertaking’s sterling implementation of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project, the World Bank has agreed to consider its proposal to finance additional buses out of the unutilised loan and extend another loan for the Voluntary Retirement Scheme.

The official nod is awaited.

The BEST was able to complete its project of buying 644 buses and draft a final “consultancy report” on technical assistance for a Management Information System (MIS) within the stipulated time-frame.

Of the total estimated cost of Rs 4,526 crore for the entire MUTP project, BEST’s component was Rs 125 crore. Of this, the WB loan was Rs 118 crores while BEST funded the remaining Rs 7 crore.

Of this, Rs.103.55 crore was spent on procurement of 644 single-decker buses of Euro-3 standard for replacement of older buses; Rs 1.98 crore was spent on technical assistance and the MIS Study, according to the BEST.

This leaves the BEST with around Rs 18 crore, with which it plans to buy 138 buses. As of today, it has a fleet of 3,400 buses.

“The WB has shown positive signs, though we are yet to get official approval,“ said BEST General Manager Uttam Khobragade.

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