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When the going got tough, BEST buses got going in Mumbai rain

BEST buses, second largest mode of mass transport in Mumbai, helped scores of Mumbaiites who were stranded in their offices especially in south Mumbai

mumbai Updated: Aug 31, 2017 01:33 IST
Kailash Korde
Kailash Korde
Hindustan Times
Peoples board a BEST bus in Mumbai on Wednesday.(Bhushan Koyande)

It was the good old Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) bus services that saved the day for a number of commuters when suburban trains were thrown out of gear from Tuesday noon.

BEST buses, second largest mode of mass transport in Mumbai, helped scores of Mumbaiites who were stranded in their offices especially in south Mumbai and other parts of the city. Most people preferred to take buses to reach eastern suburbs and extended suburbs such as Dombivli, Thane, Kalayn and Navi Mumbai.

BEST on Wednesday morning operated extra buses for Thane from CSMT station where thousands of passengers were stranded as the trains were suspended.

“We caught a BET bus for Thane. Within 30-35 minutes, we reached Thane and from there went to Kalyan by a share autorickshaw,” said Vrushali Date, a Kalyan resident, who was stuck in her office at Kalabadevi.

Though people from south Mumbai were relieved , but several commuters stranded at other  stations on central line were not as lucky.

They faced immense difficulties as BEST also failed to bring the required number of buses on roads.

BEST spokesperson said that it was because many drivers and conductors failed to reach depots on time.

Hence they could operate only 2,323 buses instead of 2,963 in the morning.

Due to lack of buses, there was huge rush on bus stops and many travelled hanging in the doors. “After spending night at office, we came walking to Dadar station. As no trains were running; we rushed to Dadar TT bus stop. Huge rush was there and every bus was coming jam packed. Somehow I managed to get in a bus and reached Mulund,” said Abhay L, a consultant in a private firm.

Many passengers, however, claimed that they could reach home safely on Wednesday night as they took BEST buses. “Some of my colleagues who were went to catch the trains were stranded at the stations, but I reached Bhaynder from Andheri in one hour and 15 minutes as I got a bus outside office,” Harisingh Rajpurohit, a media person.

Through social media several passengers including ladies hailed help and support tendered by BEST bus crew when they were stuck inside buses on the flooded streets. “Doing fantastic job, no. 4 Ltd .Whole night wake up with us and reached us destn. Kudo’s to them for our safety. Love you BEST,” says tweet from @santoshroony.

Meanwhile, even BEST buses also suffered big losses as many of its buses were breakdown and stranded in the flood water. Till Wednesday noon, over 250 buses were break down on the city streets; besides 114 other buses were stranded at various flood prone areas.

All the stranded buses towed away to the nearest depots as the buses were unable to start, probably due to water ingress inside the engines. “Our staff performed duty for 32 hours continuously for attending buses on line and still on job,” said a BEST spokesperson.

Every day about 30 lakh commuters rely on BEST buses and it provide last mile connectivity to every nook and corner of the city. BEST undertaking, however, is going through the worst ever financial crisis and since April it is unable to disburse salary of its employees on time.

First Published: Aug 31, 2017 01:33 IST