BEST and CR lock horns over new bus stations

While BEST claims it needs more land to build bus stations at Bhandup, Kurla LTT and Kanjurmarg, Central Railway alleges it already has sufficient space

Mumbai needs a holistic integrated transport system. But this is a distant dream as of now, thanks to the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) and the Central Railway (CR) who are at loggerheads over plots of land in the metropolis. Since mid 2014, the BEST has asked CR for plots at Bhandup, Kurla Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) and Kanjurmarg stations to create bus stations where it can park its fleet. 

BEST officials have asked Central Railway authorities to provide land at the Kurla LTT station for buses. The Kurla station road (above) is usually blocked by autorickshaw drivers and illegal hawkers. File pic
BEST officials have asked Central Railway authorities to provide land at the Kurla LTT station for buses. The Kurla station road (above) is usually blocked by autorickshaw drivers and illegal hawkers. File pic  

However, Railway authorities haven’t acted on this request, claiming the BEST already has sufficient space at various railway stations. Sources said that last month MP Kirit Somaiya visited Bhandup station as part of its overall development where the issue of insufficient space for BEST buses was also discussed.

“There is insufficient space for a chowkie for drivers and conductors and other basic amenities at Bhandup (W) rail station. We informed MP Somaiya about this,” said a BEST official on condition of anonymity.

The BEST claims there is limited space for reversing and maneuvering of buses at the station as auto rickshaws and hawkers block the space. The BEST ferries around 43,000 people everyday with 851 trips using 31 mini-buses at Bhandup station.

Similarly at Kanjurmarg station West, the situation remains tight for BEST. Here it ferries 30,000 people every day using 12 buses that makes 360 trips.

“There are three dedicated lanes for autos and a stand too but no space is provided for our buses,” alleged the
BEST official.

There is also an issue at Kurla LTT where the double decker flyover of Santacruz Chembur Link Road (SCLR) was inaugurated last year. BEST officials said that they have asked for proper land next to the new terminus so that they can use the link road and park their vehicles.

“There is enough space for movement of two buses but we cannot allow a bus depot there,” said a senior CR official on condition of anonymity. Presently there are several illegal autos and taxis running from Kurla LTT but authorities haven’t been able to do much even at the newly started Kurla LTT station.

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