Mumbai: BEST junks 350 old buses in just 5 months
Kunal Patil

The Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) has scrapped nearly 350 buses till date in the ongoing financial year. Following the Bombay High Court's directive of scrapping buses which have been operational for more than 15 years, BEST has enlisted a total of 898 buses, including nineteen of the conventional double decker buses, will be scrapped and taken off the road before March 31.

"Nearly 350 buses have been scrapped by BEST and the remaining buses will be scrapped in a phased manner, before the end of this financial year" said a senior engineer of BEST maintenance department.

The BEST is the second most important transport route and has a fleet of 3,340 buses. Prior to the lockdown the undertaking had a daily ridership of 50 lakh passengers. As per a MoU signed between BEST and BMC, the undertaking is supposed to have its own fleet of 3,337 buses, excluding buses hired from private contractors.

BEST is operating 460 private buses on wet-lease and the officer confirmed that the scrapped buses will be replaced soon. Senior BEST committee member, Sunil Ganacharya blamed BEST administration for mismanagement of the buses. "The BEST administration has been unable to maintain the buses which has led to shrink in the number of buses in the fleet. If they don't realise the need for BEST’s own buses, the undertaking will soon become obsolete" Ganacharya said. "Also adding buses on wet lease won't help in the long run as it will deduct the profit," he added.

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