Free Press Journal

BEST wants compensation from MMRDA for lossses due to Metro work

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Contruction work for Metro stations will be costlier for, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), as Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) is all set to ask for compensation for the losses that will incurr during Metro construction.

Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) one who is already in loss, has a new way to make up for its losses. During the construction of Metro 1 (Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar) corridor and the Chembur-Jacob Circle Monorail route, the BEST had suffered losses.

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So looking at the past BEST has decided to demand monetary compenstaion from Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) which the transport body fear may face during the construction period of Metro 3 (Colaba-Bandra-Seepz), Metro 2A (Dahisar-DN Nagar) and Metro 7 (Dahisar-Andheri East) corridors.

The BEST will soon be approaching the MMRDA to seek compensation for the operational losses which incurred during these constructions.

The BEST has been incurring annual losses of around Rs 900 crore; in 2016-17, the losses have been pegged at over Rs 1,000 crore. In a bid to recover part of this loss, the BEST proposes to burden 10.5 lakh power consumers in the island city with transport loss recovery surcharge in their electricity bills.

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Residents and several political parties have strongly opposed the surcharge, which is proposed in the power tariff hikes for the next four fiscal years.

To manage the vehicular movement on the Western Express Highway (WEH) and the arterial roads where the Metro work was going on, MMRDA had paid city traffic department Rs 25 crore to manage the vehicular movement.

Earlier during the construction of Metro and monorail stations BEST had diverted six of its bus routes, so from then its bus route have stayed altered. As a result BEST is losing its revenue and passengers both.

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A detailed report of the losses that BEST will face during the construction of Metro 1 (Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar) corridor and the Chembur-Jacob Circle Monorail route, and including the investment that will be required for creating temporary infrastructure for smooth functioning of buses, will sent to MMRDA in few days officials pointed out.

With helping travel nearly 30 lakh passengers daily, the BEST is the second largest public transporter in the Mumbai city. Hence, any inconvenience to the BEST bus operations will directly affect the passengers. Further, losses incurred will be passed on to the commuters in the form of tariff hike in their electricity bills.