BEST panel members demand structural audit of staff coloniesUpdated: Nov 12, 2019 01:07 IST
Members of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) committee on Monday demanded a structural audit of the buildings in all of its staff colonies across the city. The committee is also exploring the possibility of redeveloping these buildings if the maintenance cost is found to be higher.
BEST committee members raised this demand while discussing a proposal regarding the maintenance of the buildings in its staff colony in Parel, which has 15 buildings, with nearly 1,100 houses, that were built-in 1956. The buildings are presently in a dilapidated condition.
The committee members slammed BEST administration for delaying the maintenance of the buildings in its staff colonies, even as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) — the parent body of the undertaking — had allotted ₹10 crore for the work. Anil Patankar, BEST panel chairman, has asked the administration to call for a special meeting on the issue.
Sunil Ganacharya, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member on the committee, blamed the BEST administration for spending only ₹1 crore of the ₹4.74 crore collected in rent from BEST colonies, on maintaining the buildings. Ganacharya said that the buildings have outlived their codal life (duration for which an object can be used optimally) and require heavy maintenance repeatedly. Therefore, he suggested that the BEST administration should explore the possibility of redeveloping these colonies.
Anil Kolil, Shiv Sena member on BEST committee, demanded a proper structural audit of BEST colonies at various locations by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) or Veer Jijamata Technical Institue (VJTI), considering these institutes audited the Himalaya bridge at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, which collapsed last year.
The BEST administration, in its reply, informed that they have already conducted the structural audit of all the 330-335 buildings in their colonies and depots. “Based on the structural audit report, we have already planned essential preventive works,” said a senior BEST official.
In the meeting, the BEST committee also gave approval for increasing the budget for Bharat Ratna Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Mahaparinirvan Divas function to ₹13 lakh from ₹10 lakh.
Meanwhile, the latest announcements report of BEST revealed that the undertaking incurred losses to the tune of ₹132 crore, for which BEST panel members blamed faulty electronic ticketing machines. “It is a huge loss, which comes to around ₹11 crore per month in tickets and season pass sales, as compared to the previous financial year,” said Ganacharya.