Mumbai News: BMC Releases Installment Of ₹200 Crore Aid For BEST

Mumbai News: BMC Releases Installment Of ₹200 Crore Aid For BEST

The BEST is urgently in need of funds since the number of buses in the fleet has declined to 3,000 vehicles.

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Friday, May 03, 2024, 12:34 AM IST
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BEST Buses | Representational Photo

Mumbai: The BMC approved financial aid of Rs200 crore to the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) on Thursday to pay salary of the employees and clear dues of the retired employees. The BEST had requested to grant funds of Rs3,000 crore, which was put on hold by the civic authorities last month.

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 BEST is urgently in need of funds since the number of buses in the fleet has declined to 3,000 vehicles.

Last month, the civic authorities decided to examine the demand and put the proposal on hold. “The BMC had made a provision of Rs800 crores for the BEST in the budget for the year 2024-25. However, at present, we have agreed to sanction Rs200 crore,” said a civic official. Municipal Commissioner Bhushan Gagrani also confirmed the development. “With this amount, we can clear the salary of employees and pay power charges to Tata company,” said sources from the BEST.

The BEST has 2,978 buses, of which 1,684 have been procured on a rent basis and 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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