Mumbai

Consider merging services with Monorail, Metro: BMC to BEST

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Suggests providing point-to-point minibus services

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has asked the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) to consider integrating its bus operations with Monorail and Metro services in the city and providing point-to-point services with minibuses to generate more revenue.

The suggestions were made as the BMC’s standing committee had referred the BEST’s budget back to the administration. According to a rule, the budget needs to be presented to the BMC with a ₹1 lakh surplus. The bus and electricity supply undertaking’s 2019-20 budget had a deficit of ₹720 crore.

Senior committee member from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Sunil Ganacharya said it was high time that the rule is changed as given the mounting losses of the BEST, achieving the ₹1 lakh surplus is nearly impossible. “This is a vicious cycle that we are trapped in. There are mounting losses due to which we have a growing deficit. The BMC summarily sends back the budget with ‘suggestions’. This needs to stop at some point,” he said. The standing committee chairman and BEST committee chairman, who are both from the Shiv Sena, should meet the BEST general manager and come up with solutions, he said.

BEST general manager Surendrakumar Bagde said the suggestions from BMC were just for the panel’s information, and BEST will present a revised budget to the BMC in June. The BEST’s bus transport wing has been making sustained losses over the years, and the cumulative figure has crossed ₹1,000 crore. The civic administration has refused any financial assistance unless the BEST adopts a slew of reform measures, such as hiring buses on lease.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 10:53:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/consider-merging-services-with-monorail-metro-bmc-to-best/article26515462.ece

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