BEST doubles cost of monthly student pass

Undertaking says hike is necessary to increase budget

Mumbai : The cash-strapped BEST undertaking is in no mood to spare school-going children, who will now have to shell out nearly double the amount of money on their monthly passes following two subsequent fare hikes.

The bus passes, which until February cost Rs 1,200 for a distance of 10 km within the BMC city limits, will now cost Rs 2,400 for the dedicated bus facility. The cost of a bus pass beyond 10 km within BMC limits has gone up from Rs1,700 to Rs 3,400.

The BEST committee members have been opposing this hike in the cost of bus passes for students, but it has fallen on deaf ears. The committee members asked the BEST management to withdraw the hike as it might prove to be a deterrent for lower-class people to send their kids to school.

However, the BEST management has refused to comply on the pretext that there is a deficit in the BEST accounts and it cannot allow such a subsidy. A senior official from BEST said, “Every month, nearly 10 lakh students get their passes. Following the fare hike, the revenue generated through the sale of passes on the renewed fares is substantial and has been taken into account while preparing the budget estimate. If now there is any subsidy granted in this respect, it will affect the budget.”

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