Dispute over ETIMs: BEST Committee members target GM
Senior Sena member Suhas Samant complained about the trouble being faced by bus conductors, in absence of chargers to charge the ticketing machines.mumbai Updated: May 17, 2018 23:31 IST
The issue of using Electronic Ticket Issuing Machines (ETIMs) has led to a tussle between the members of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking’s policy-making body — BEST Committee — and BEST general manager Surendrakumar Bagde.
Already unhappy with Bagde, the Shiv Sena members have now threatened to bring a no-confidence motion against him. They first raised the demand of sending Bagde back, to the government, when the issue of faulty ETIMs came up for discussion in the BEST Committee meeting on Thursday.
Senior Sena member Suhas Samant complained about the trouble being faced by bus conductors, in absence of chargers to charge the ticketing machines.
BEST introduced ETIMs in 2010, with an intention to improve the ticketing system. Over the years, the machines have become redundant and the BEST has gone back to issuing paper tickets.
Bagde has put the decision to get updated machines from the existing contractor on hold, saying that the same are not compatible with the new single ticketing system proposed by the state government for all modes of public transport. The committee members — nominees of political parties and BEST workers’ unions — however, are insisting that the updated machines from the contractor should be used.
They also argue that the BEST is losing commuters since it has gone back to issuing paper tickets which takes time. Significantly, BEST had more commuters when it was using paper tickets in the past.
The main objection of panel members against Bagde was that he does not implement the decisions taken by the BEST panel including the one on procuring new ETIMs from the same contractor. “The general manager has encroached on the rights of the BEST panel,” said Anil Kokil, member and former chairman of BEST panel.
“The BEST is reluctant to continue with the service provider for supply and maintenance of these ETIMs despite having a contract with them since 2016 for six years,” said Kokil. Congress members too supported the ruling Shiv Sena.