Mumbai: BEST to get Rs 600 crore to improve financial condition of transport body
The standing committee chairman, Yashwant Jadhav has pointed out to the civic administration that if the BMC goes into losses for helping the BEST then it will be the civic administration who will be responsible
After the standing committee approved a proposal to release funds worth Rs 600 crore to the transport wing of BEST, the BMC aims to improve the financial condition of the transport body as it is reeling under a loss of Rs2500 crore. But the standing committee chairman, Yashwant Jadhav has pointed out to the civic administration that if the BMC goes into losses for helping the BEST then it will be the civic administration who will be responsible.
The BMC has laid down various conditions for BEST to fulfil in order to receive this money, and several corporators in the BMC's general body meeting on Monday where the proposal was discussed pointed out that the instalments promised should not be stalled if the conditions such as using only wet lease new buses run in to litigation. The discussion was also about merging the budgets of the two entities and bringing it under the BMC's jurisdiction completely.
The BMC has asked BEST to increase its fleet of buses from 3,200 to 7,000 as well as its per bus passenger ratio (filling capacity of the buses). The BMC expects the BEST get these buses on wet lease. While earlier the BMC had said that it will be a monthly grant for a year, the proposal approved was only of Rs600 instead of Rs1200 crore. The BEST has already initiated the procurement of 450 buses. An audit of the funds allotted to BEST will be done by the BMC officials. However, if the BEST fails to meet the conditions, the BMC will have have the powers to stop the further installments of the payment.
While the standing committee chairman said that keeping a tab was necessary, he said the promised amount too will be granted. Jadhav, said, "If the development of the BMC's mega projects is affected due to lack of fund because of grant given to BEST then for that only the administration will be responsible. We want to know how this money will be granted and what measures are taken to ensure that we are not affected."
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