Instead it is trying to earn revenue from advertisements on hoardings and streetlights
The Sena-led Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) committee, which was elected back into power recently, has indicated that it will prevent a hike in bus fares proposed by the administration. Instead, it will try to earn revenue from advertisements on hoardings and buses.
"We will earn our revenue from advertisements on streetlights and on hoardings and prevent a hike in bus fare. We will also study the proposal for a hike made by the administration," said S Shinde, chairman, BEST Committee.
According to officials from the undertaking, the only way to maintain a continuous flow in revenue is from ticket sales. Other options can't fulfill the income-expenditure gap completely.
The recent figures presented by the administration state that the losses in their transport wing in 2011-12 are Rs 324.66 crore, which is anticipated to go up to Rs 406.43 crore in 2012-13. This amount also includes the development made at bus depots and stations during the period.
As per the proposal made by the BEST administration, the basic fare for first two kilometres will be Rs 5, instead of Rs 4 for those travelling inside non-airconditioned and limited buses.
The amount will increase by Rs 5 for every five kilometres. Similarly the fare for air-conditioned buses will be Rs 15, which will increase by Rs 10 for every five kms.
"There is no other option than to increase bus fares. We are hoping for a hike by April 1," said a senior BEST official, who had submitted the proposal to the committee of corporators to study it. Sources said that the fare is likely to increase only after a new committee is formed since corporators have been recently elected.
Similarly, the BEST plans to pass off the expenses incurred due to fire at their Backbay substation in October 2011. The entire south Mumbai area including Cuffe Parade, Colaba, Churchgate and Nariman Point suffered power cuts due to this fire.
A report will soon be submitted to the state government stating the cause of the fire and whether BEST and Tata Power were responsible for it.
"The report will be submitted to the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission as well. Depending on the situation, this expenditure will be added to the annual revenue requirement," said OP Gupta, general manager, BEST. The BEST has spent over Rs 3 crore so far to replace damaged equipment and cables that were burnt in the fire.
The BEST has already demanded a 30 per cent hike in power tariffs for 2012-13. This will further burden electricity bills.