BEST plans to procure 600 AC buses on wet lease

The management body of the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking has sent a proposal to the members of its management committee, seeking approval to procure 600 single decker AC buses on wet lease.

The proposal comes as a part of BEST's plan of augmenting its fleet to more than 6,300 buses by March 2022. Currently, BEST has a fleet of 3,875 buses which includes 1,125 buses procured on wet-lease. Alongside this, BEST has leased 1,000 buses from the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) on wet-lease for catering to demand of Mumbaikars in the absence of suburban locals.

Sunil Ganacharya, senior BEST committee member from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has pointed out that BEST alongside the buses will be hiring drivers and conductors as well. In the present fleet of wet-lease buses, BEST has only hired drivers. However, this is for the first time that BEST has invited proposition for conductors too.

"Earlier BEST used to hire only drivers and buses on wet-lease. This is for the first time BEST has invited propositions for hiring conductors and it appears that the management is putting BEST into the hands of private players," Ganacharya told FPJ.

Each committee member has been handed the proposition for review, henceforth the proposal will be taken as an agenda and will be discussed at the BEST committee meeting.

Based on the results of the meeting, the management can either accept the proposal, reject it, make changes or file it.

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Free Press Journal