BEST scrapped around 300 old buses recently. Representation picBEST scrapped around 300 old buses recently. Representation pic

On the first day of their examinations this morning, SSC and HSC students were more worried about reaching their schools on time. Over 400 BEST buses are off the roads owing to some problem or the other, which has added to the stress of hundreds of students and their parents across the city. Adding to the woes of students, school bus associations have proposed a hike in bus fees by 20 per cent.

Apparently, the BEST Undertaking, after scrapping around 300 old buses recently, is now struggling to get replacements from Tata Motors, who they allege have missed their deadline of providing new buses. 

Ramzan Ali College student Tarannum Qureshi said, "I live near Malwani and my exam centre is NL Dalmia College. I left home early around 9.30 am, but I have been waiting at this bus stop for over 20 minutes and not a single bus has arrived. I will take a rickshaw now and spend around Rs 50 as I am running late." 

BEST Committee member Kedar Hombalkar said, "Yes, our fleet has reduced, and due to sluggish traffic, our buses are not always reaching the bus stops on time. We understand it is severely affecting students."

He admitted to having received complaints from several students.