Mumbai : The BEST committee members are apprehensive about the loss making undertaking further losing commuters due to the construction work of 32.4 km Metro-line 3 from Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ.
The committee was discussing the proposal by Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRA) for integrating the metro station for Metro line-3 with BEST under which there will be remodeling of the BEST substations at Hutatma Chowk and Ambika Mills at Parel. The committee members gave their nod to Mumbai Metro Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for going ahead with its proposal but asked the BEST General Manager to opt for a route which has the least possible hindrance.
BEST Committee member, Kedar Hombalkar, said, “During the construction of Metro line-1 which was from Ghatkopar to Versova several BEST routes were diverted for years. It cost the BEST heavily as not only the commuters were lost but also the fuel cost per bus went up.”
“Considering the fact that the stations will be underground the work will go on for years during which the BEST may lose out heavily on commuters if it has to divert its routes,” he added.
As per the proposal, there will be integration of BEST with Metro at Hutatma Chowk sub-station and Ambika Mills bus station whereas at SEEPZ, MMRA approached BEST for commercial exploitation of the land and construction of a three storied structure on the depot.
The proposal put forth by MMRA emphasises on the need to divert traffic including BEST buses for construction of the stations.
While Sunil Ghanacharya, another committee member, said, “If they are developing the land at Ambika Mills some portion of it is encroached which should be removed by the MMRDA.”
BEST General Manager, OP Gupta, said, “There has been lot of changes made in the alignment of Metro-line 3 to incorporate the integration of the mode of transport which is crucial part of public transport. We will see that the BEST routes are least affected.”
Dustbins at bus stns
Taking the ‘Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan’ a step ahead, BEST will be putting up dustbins at its bus stops. The dustbins are being put up at the stops to ensure that tickets purchased by commuters are not thrown on the street. OP Gupta, General Manager of BEST, said, “We were approached by the BMC with the suggestion and we gave it a blanket approval. Also, we will be putting up stickers inside the buses to make people aware that there are dustbins and they should throw tickets in it after their travel.”