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Mumbai civic body asks BEST to run minibuses, integrate with Metro, Monorail

Other BMC suggestions to BEST include renting out its depots for commercial purposes, appoint a committee to oversee its power and transport wing.

mumbai Updated: Mar 13, 2019 11:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
BMC,BEST,mumbai metro
The BMC has suggested to BEST to integrate its services with Metro and Monorail networks.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has suggested that Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) introduce a point-to-point minibus service and integrate its services with Metro and Monorail networks.

The civic body, which is BEST’s parent organisation, has also suggested the transport body rent out its depots for commercial purposes, appoint a committee to oversee its power and transport wing besides the state government and BMC bearing the cost of concessions given to its passengers.

On Tuesday, BEST’s administration informed its panel about these suggestions given by the civic body which referred back the undertaking’s Rs 710-crore budget deficit for the financial year 2019-20.

BMC sent back the budget because it was not in a surplus of Rs 1 lakh as per provisions in the Mumbai Municipal Act. Sunil Ganacharya, a senior member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the BEST panel, said this rule needed to be revised as it was impossible for the transport and electricity provider to present such a budget in the present situation.

The BEST’s administration is expected to present a revised budget in front of its panel in June 2019.

Ganacharya ridiculed BMC’s suggestions as they were contradictory to the policies of the ruling Shiv Sena, which was earlier against renting out bus depots for commercial purposes. “Many of these suggestions raise questions about the efficiency of the ruling party,” he said.

BEST general manager Surendrakumar Bagde said these suggestions were forwarded to its panel just for the information of its members.

BEST has been facing severe financial troubles since 2017, as its daily commuters dropped by almost 15 lakh within a decade. The civic body, earlier this year, suggested a turnaround plan for BEST to bring in yearly revenues of Rs 700-800 crore. The plan, which included a slew of measures such as hiring private bus operators and rationalising routes, has been put on hold after it was challenged in court.

First Published: Mar 13, 2019 11:47 IST