Mumbai: BEST's open-deck buses line up for scrap

Updated: 11 September, 2020 07:38 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Sources say they are among a lot of serial numbers of over 60 double deckers set aside to be scrapped

An open-top tourist BEST bus earlier this year
An open-top tourist BEST bus earlier this year

These buses have seen the best of the days. From welcoming India's winning cricket team to hosting victorious sportspersons in other cities to those who hired them for city tours will always remember the breezy topless-deck rides that became life-time memories.

Three of the five top-open deck buses of the BEST Undertaking are now been lined up for scrap evoking memories from its users and staffers. Two of the over 20-year-old buses Nilambari and Vibhavari were last fitted with Euro-III engines in 2005 completing 15 years of service after the retrofit this year.

"I remember in 2007, the buses were decorated and had posters of the winning team with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's picture displayed prominently on the bus' front. They proudly ferried the victorious team throughout the city from the airport to the Wankhede stadium amid applause through waving crowds," recalls one of the veteran bus drivers.

Sent to Hyderabad

The Nilambari bus had been sent all the way 1,600 km away to Hyderabad after the authorities there requested it for the victory procession of the Olympic silver medal winner PV Sindhu and her coach Pullela Gopichand.

 to Hyderabad for the PV Sindhu's and her coach Pullela Gopichand's victory procession The Nilambari bus was once sent to Hyderabad for the PV Sindhu's and her coach Pullela Gopichand's victory procession 

One of the users recalls, "We did the Nilambari open deck bus tour of South Mumbai last year. The tour guide regaled us with stories and it was amazing to look at historical and archaeological buildings and the metro work from the upper deck of the bus."

The undertaking has five open-roof buses, from which, two — Nilambari and Vibhavari were always parked at Colaba depot and the rest are at the Wadala bus depot.

Also Read: Mumbai: Will BEST convert scrapped buses into public toilets?

One of the buses met with an accident near Vakola a few years ago. While BEST officials refused to comment on it, sources said that the older buses are among a lot of serial numbers of over 60 double deckers that have been lined for scrap.

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First Published: 11 September, 2020 07:10 IST

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