BEST may face ticket crunch as panel refuses to buy more

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) might face a shortage of paper tickets in the near future. The BEST committee on Tuesday rejected a proposal by the administration to procure more paper tickets on the ground that a similar proposal had been rejected by the committee earlier this year.

The transport undertaking has been using paper tickets for the last four months after electronic ticket issuing machines (ETIMs) malfunctioned. The administration on Tuesday presented a proposal to procure 36,000 ticket blocks worth ₹1.71 crore. It also mentioned that the paper tickets would only be a stop-gap arrangement till the transport undertaking floats tenders for an automatic fare collection system.

Sunil Ganacharya, a committee member, said a stop-gap arrangement should be at the most for a few months. “How can they say it’s a stop-gap arrangement when there is a case regarding this matter. The court has granted a stay and the administration cannot open the bids until the court pronounces its verdict,” he said.

Anil Kokil, another committee member, said this proposal is the administration’s attempt to get a back door approval from the panel, after the latter had decided to reject the same in February.

Suhas Samant, who is also a leader of BEST Kamgar Sena, said many conductors, who have joined after the BEST stopped paper tickets, are facing a lot of issues because of unavailability of ETIMs.

Mr. Ganacharya said the administration should make efforts to re-install ETIMs instead of increasingly relying on paper tickets.

“If we don’t pass this, the BEST may not have tickets,” Ashish Chemburkar, chairman of the committee, said, and tried to convince the members. However, the overwhelming decision of the committee was to reject the proposal.

A BEST official said they have stocks for around one month and would need to procure tickets soon. “Had the proposal been passed, it would have ensured tickets for the next four months,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 8:16:23 PM |

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