BEST's AC fleet may turn into feeders for Metro, Monorail
With non-stop complaints against the hiccups these buses throw up, undertaking will begin curtailing services soon, ultimately reducing them only to ply on feeder routes to new AC rails
It is not just Mumbaikars who are waiting for the Metro rail and Monorail services but also the BEST, whose air-conditioned bus services sputter a bunch of glitches regularly. With constant complaints about the dismal performance of AC buses operated by BEST, the undertaking is now planning to run them on feeder routes from important stations on Metro and Monorail lines.
This monsoon has seen commuters holding open an umbrella over their heads in leaking buses, which halt suddenly in the middle of the road, and make a lot of noise while running. “I have seen people holding plastic covers over their heads to protect themselves against the leaking roofs of these AC buses,” said S Tripathi, BEST committee member.
The BEST now intends to curtail its AC bus services not only to lower the complaints but also their losses. “The maintenance staff should be taken to task for the shabby condition of these AC buses,” said K Hombalkar, BEST committee member.
In the coming months, the authorities would cut down 20 services, and gradually, they would bring down the numbers and allow the buses to ply short distances only.
“There are fundamental issues with AC buses and I cannot fix them all together. Once Metro and Monorail begin operations we can connect them with these AC buses through feeder routes,” said OP Gupta, general manager, BEST.
BEST officials say the measure will ensure that people continue to enjoy AC services after getting off the trains. “These 270 AC buses will be hanging by our neck a new until the time a lot of new AC buses do not come in,” said a senior BEST official.
To make matters worse, the newer point-to-point routes started by MSRTC could erode the BEST clientele. “These services are being run on vital routes which is completely wrong,” said S Samant, BEST committee member.
Earlier this month, MSRTC started point-to-point AC bus services on BKC-Kandivli and Borivli-Thane routes. On July 24, the state transport body started regular bus services between Panvel and Mantralaya via the newly inaugurated Eastern Freeway.
BEST officials said the entry of these services wouldn’t matter a lot. “The number of buses held back for maintenance has come down from 120 to 60 a day in the last three years,” said another official.
Pay your power bills on mobile
The 10-lakh power consumers of BEST can now pay their electricity bills through mobile phones by following these steps:
Register with Money Mobile Payments Ltd who will be collecting power bills on behalf of BEST
Submit documents namely photo ID, residential proof and mobile bills in the applier’s name
Then MMPL will confirm these details and create an ‘M-Wallet’ where individual consumers can deposit their money
Electricity bills can be paid every month using this service when one gives consent to pay and money gets deducted from the ‘M-Wallet’ account
The money can be refilled in the account using cash or net banking while cheques wouldn’t be accepted