Sena-led panel approves BEST Budget, BJP stages walkout

The provisional Budget of the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking was cleared by the Shiv Sena-led management committee on Friday.

On October 11, the BEST had proposed Rs 1,888-deficit Budget for the financial year 2021-22. In an attempt to cater to its increasing demand to commuters, BEST announced procurement of 2,422 buses by March 2022. The undertaking also proposed to replace the conventional electronic meters with smart meters in the following financial year.

However on Friday, committee members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) staged a walkout in the meeting stating the Budget is poorly planned.

"We requested the management to revoke the chargesheet being issued to employees who couldn't attend duty during lockdown. There are many staffers who stay in satellite cities and were unable to come to Mumbai as there was no transportation facilities" Prakash Gangadhare, senior BJP corporator and BEST management committee member told FPJ.

He also stated that the electricity department which once used to generate profit for the undertaking is now under a loss of Rs 270 crore. "There is no proper planning of infrastructure development in the budget we have also asked the management to chalk out a planning of restructuring the 750 acre of BEST property but our points were not considered by them" Gangadhare added.

However, Praveen Shinde, senior Shiv Sena corporator and chairman of the management committee, said that the management will hold a dialogue with the depot managers in an attempt to revoke the chargesheets being issued to them.

"Members of the BJP had put forward their views but before we could make any call they staged a walkout," Shinde told FPJ.

The Budget will now be discussed at BMC standing committee on November 25 for final approval.

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