Mumbai: How state buses will take the load off BEST buses
First batch of 250 MSRTC buses arrive in city to be deployed in MMR region, allowing BEST to increase services in the city as office-going crowd continues to swell
Around 250 heavy-duty Tata-make buses from various depots of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) from districts like Nashik, Sinnar, Igatpuri, Malegaon, Lasalgaon, Manmad, Satna have started arriving in Mumbai as back-up to BEST after its bus-scrapping spree. The buses, stuck because of heavy rain, will be arriving on Thursday morning.
Lending a helping hand to Mumbai's BEST buses, MSRTC – one of India's largest bus fleets with about 18,000 buses, said it had kept about 1,000 buses ready for BEST. The MSRTC's fleet arrived with their maintenance and more buses will be despatched as things proceed.
The buses will be used on BEST routes and post the trips, the money will be deposited at BEST depots. Pic/Rohit Dhende
As per the conditions, the buses will be used on BEST routes and post the trips, the money – Rs 75/km will be deposited at BEST depots. Post the trips, the buses will be parked in MSRTC depots and a proper log-book will be maintained of all buses used and trips.
"The BEST undertaking has been taking decisions without consulting committee members, which is unfair. There could have been better options available," BEST committee member Shrikant Kawthankar said. BEST committee member Sunil Ganacharya said, "The MSRTC buses have been demanded by BMC to be run on routes connecting Mumbai with neighbouring areas of Vasai, Virar, Palghar, Kalyan, Dombivli and beyond. Why should the BEST be burdened?"
BEST chairman Anil Patankar said he had also sent a proposal to the state government to allow existing BEST buses to be used to 100 per cent capacity to include more commuters.
mid-day was first to report that BEST has lined up about 900 buses for scrap this year, including half of its fleet of double decker buses. In turn, they are taking minibuses on wet-lease which have been unable to fulfil the BEST requirement as they carry half the number of passengers, which have been further restricted due to COVID-19 medical protocols.
No. of buses in MSRTC fleet
No. of buses MSRTC has kept ready for BEST
Where the buses have come from...
. Nashik-2 bus depot: 30 buses
. Manmad bus depot: 30
. Sinnar bus depot: 30
. Igatpuri bus depot: 20
. Lasalgaon bus depot: 20
. Kalwan bus depot: 25
. Peth bus depot: 15
. Yewla bus depot: 10
. Pimpalgaon bus depot: 20
. Malegaon bus depot: 10
. Nandgaon bus depot: 15
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