Report chalks out transport tips

Main reasons for BEST running into losses are overstaffing and complacence due to lack of competition, reports Rajendra Aklekar.

india Updated: Dec 22, 2006 02:21 IST

Want more efficiency? Get yourself a competitor, is one of the recommendations made by a Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) report submitted to the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport (BEST) Undertaking on Thursday.

According to the report, some of the main reasons for the undertaking running into losses are because it is overstaffed and has become complacent due to lack of any competition.

Hence, the report has recommended the setting up of a parallel bus service. Lack of dedicated bus lanes, and a unified transport body for the city are among other things adding to the undertaking’s losses.

The report has also recommended that a separate body be set up for decision on fare structures and its regularisation and computerization. It has also said that land owned by the various bus depots could be commercially developed to increase profits.

“The undertaking should also add more CNG buses to its fleet, decide on routes as per passenger traffic density, innovate on passenger-friendly schemes and increase routes connecting eastern and western suburbs,” the report states.

It has also recommended that a separate body be set up for decision on fare structures and its regularization, computerization, commercially develop land owned by the undertaking bus depots, having a separate budget for each bus depot.

Speaking to HT, BEST general manager Uttam Khobragade said: “We are already implementing most of the suggestions. Sixty per cent of the recommendations have already been implemented, but some like cutting down staff strength may be impossible given the unions and politics.”

The undertaking had appointed TCS to prepare a business and development plan under the Mumbai Urban Transport Plan.

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First Published: Dec 22, 2006 02:21 IST