Mumbai News: BEST's ₹3,000 Crore Budget For New Buses Put On Hold

Mumbai News: BEST's ₹3,000 Crore Budget For New Buses Put On Hold

The BEST has 2,978 buses, of which 1,684 have been procured on a rent basis while the remaining is owned by the undertaking.

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Wednesday, April 24, 2024, 11:47 PM IST
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The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) request to grant funds of Rs 3,000 crore was put on hold. The funds were intended primarily for the procurement of new buses, aiming to alleviate the strain on the city’s public transportation system.

The BEST had sought aid from the BMC while presenting its budget estimates for the financial year 2024-25. As BEST is an undertaking of the BMC, budget estimates are presented to the BMC for final approval and for seeking funds. The urgency behind this request stems from the declining number of buses in the BEST fleet, which has dwindled to approximately 3,000 vehicles. This reduction has exacerbated waiting times at numerous bus stops across the city, leading to overcrowding and inconvenience for passengers.

Deliberations On BEST Funding Request In Recent Civic Meeting

The BEST proposal was discussed in a meeting between civic and BEST authorities last Monday. The meeting was attended by municipal commissioner Bhushan Gagrani, BEST’s general manager Anil Diggikar and other civic officials. “We have been approving financial assistance to the BEST whenever required. We have already given Rs1,200 crore and it would be difficult to approve Rs3,000 crore this time,” said a senior civic official, who attended the meeting. BMC commissioner Bhushan Gagrani said, “We are examining it and have not yet rejected the demand.”

Request For Funds To Meet Bus Fleet Requirement

The BEST has 2,978 buses, of which 1,684 have been procured on a rent basis while the remaining is owned by the undertaking. As per the memorandum of understanding between the BEST and its employee’s union, the undertaking needs to maintain 3,300 buses in its fleet. Since the present condition doesn’t meet the requirement, the then BEST General Manager Vijay Singhal had requested the then municipal commissioner Chahal seeking Rs3,000 crore to purchase 2,237 buses in a phased manner.

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