Mumbai: Shortage of funds leads BEST to decide not to buy any new buses

Mumbai: The management of Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has sent a final letter to Tata Motors company that they would not buy any more buses from them due to shortage of funds. The undertaking will save at least Rs 57 crore which is the total cost of the remaining 112 buses which were to be procured from the company. The undertaking sent the final letter to the company last week. Of the total 303 buses, the undertaking has planned to buy at least 185 new buses. The total cost of these buses is Rs 90 crore.

“Of the 185 buses, 44 were procured last week. The inspection of the remaining buses is in process at Panvel,” said a senior BEST official. Last month, the undertaking already scrapped at least 118 buses. The undertaking had earlier planned to procure a total 303 such buses from Tata Motors at a cost of Rs 51 lakh each in the next four months.

The civic body has provided the undertaking with Rs 100 crore for its financial revival. Of this, Rs 10 crore will be used by the undertaking to procure electric buses. BEST committee members said the decision taken by the undertaking would affect commuters as there are few buses plying on roads.

“The decision taken by the undertaking will affect frequency of the buses. Already the commuters are required to wait at the bus stop for more than half-hour due to shortage of buses,” said Ravi Raja, member of BEST committee.

Raja added that they would request the civic body to release more funds to the undertaking to buy new buses.

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