The BrihanMumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking will be putting 15 of its iconic double-decker buses for auction on January 7. Senior BEST officials informed that these buses have exceeded 15 years of age; hence, they are no longer eligible to ply on the road. The buses will be bought by contractors and are likely to be dismantled.
In the ongoing financial year, the undertaking has enlisted nearly 898 buses for scrapping following the Bombay High Court's order of scrapping buses that have been operational for more than 15 years. Presently, there are 120 double-decker buses in the BEST fleet, of which 60 buses are to be scrapped by March 2021.
“This is a routine process. When the buses exceed their age limit, we pull them off the road and auction them,” Manoj Varade, BEST spokesperson told the Free Press Journal.
Meanwhile, the undertaking has already invited tenders for 100 double-decker buses, which are set to join the BEST fleet by early next year. The tenders were invited in November and the bidding for the same is yet to take place. Senior BEST committee member Sunil Ganacharya stated that the management is yet to bring the matter in front of the committee.
“We are aware of the fact that BEST has sent out proposals to procure double-decker buses. However, the matter is due for discussion at the committee meeting,” Ganacharya told FPJ.
The new BEST buses are expected to have salient features like smart doorways, two staircases, CCTV cameras and an intercom for communication between the conductors and drivers. Earlier, Heritage Transport Museum of Haryana had expressed their interest to procure one of the conventional BEST buses.