BEST to get 300 buses, but has no conductors for them
The decision comes after the Undertaking invited tenders to procure 300 additional diesel-run AC buses, which would take the total number of AC buses (electric/CNG/diesel) on its fleet to 2,000 by 2021.
The BEST Undertaking plans to run some more of its buses without conductors, a decision which was fiercely opposed by the workers' union through a protest on Friday. The decision comes after the Undertaking invited tenders to procure 300 additional diesel-run AC buses, which would take the total number of AC buses (electric/CNG/diesel) on its fleet to 2,000 by 2021.
Speaking to mid-day, Shashank Sharad Rao of BEST Workers' Union, said, "This is a clear game plan to get private ticket operators. They will do away with the existing conductors by saying that there is excess staff and then set up booths of private operators to issue tickets."
"The Shiv Sena has signed an MoU, which allows administrative changes. What we fear is that they will do all of this under the garb of these changes. Initially, they had started operating buses without conductors on two routes and now it will be done on some of the other routes as well," he added.
However, BEST chairman Anil Patankar rubbished the allegations. According to sources, for the first time in October, buses on certain routes started to be run without conductors. Later it was introduced to some more routes. For these non-stop buses, passengers have to buy tickets at the originating point before boarding them. Initially the service was started for effective manpower utilisation and on those routes, which do not have stops in between.
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