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Mumbai BEST bus fans bid farewell to last-surving Tata's CNG model vehicle

Updated on: 01 July,2024 06:57 PM IST  |  Mumbai
Rajendra B. Aklekar |

A royal farewell was given by bus fans to the last-surviving Tata CNG BEST bus model

Mumbai BEST bus fans bid farewell to last-surving Tata's CNG model vehicle

Mumbai’s last-surviving Tata CNG BEST bus model was given a royal farewell

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Mumbai BEST bus fans bid farewell to last-surving Tata's CNG model vehicle

Mumbai’s last-surviving Tata CNG BEST bus model was given a royal farewell by bus fans by taking a ride on the bus through a unique route and documenting its journey.

“Yesterday, we, 17 bus fans, reunited again to bid farewell to the last surviving Tata CNG bus no. 5594 at Magathane bus depot in Borivali East. Bus fans Sahil Pusalkar, Sumedh Tambe, Rupak Dhakate and a few other members took the initiative and booked the bus and completed the formalities. This will be the last week of this bus as we will lose one more iconic bus model which served majority of depots and has reached every nook and corner of not just Mumbai, but extreme corners of Thane like till Mumbra, Bhayander and Navi Mumbai till Airoli and Kalamboli which are limits of BEST,” bus fan Rupak Dhakate said.

“We decorated the bus, cut the cake, a senior official broke coconut, we distributed sweets and roses to depot staff, driver and conductor and also arranged snacks which we had during break at Nehru Planetarium,” he added.

“We started from Magathane depot, took entire highway, roamed interiors of Government Colony Bandra East, Bandra Worli Sea Link, Worli, Nehru Planetarium, Peddar Road, Girgaon Chowpatty, Nariman Point, Mantralaya, Gateway of India, CSMT, Eastern Freeway, Sion, Chunabhatti railway crossing, Eastern Express Highway, JVLR, Aarey Colony and back to Magathane depot from highway. This route was a quite unique as we covered marvel of modern architecture ie Bandra Worli Sea Link, witnessed historic monuments of Taj Hotel & Gate Way of India, Cruised on Top Notch Speed on Eastern Freeway, Crossed Chunabhatti level crossing gates, one of the last few remaining level crossing gates of Mumbai and finally passed through Aarey Forest enjoying the Greenery of Mother Nature,” another bus fan Shubham Padave said.

“Though many busfans do not like this bus model, our yesterday's ride yesterday made us emotional. We could feel that there is still a lot of power left under the hood and with BEST's exemplary maintenance standards, these buses could have easily served for even more years. Moreover these buses after getting rebuilt were the first in BEST's fleet to provide USB charging for commuters in a non-AC bus,” Dhakate added.

“The new buses may be comfortable but the feeling, look and charisma of travelling in traditional old BEST buses cannot be matched with the new buses. Magathane depot staff appreciated our efforts and supported us fully. They felt happy to know that there are still people like us who love buses and do such events thereby feeling proud for the service they provide,” Sahil Pusalkar said.

“So as of today, all full-sized Buses with scroll boards are gone from BEST while 48 Midi Buses will continue to survive till year end which are currently operational in Colaba, Majas, Magathane & Mulund Depot,” Padave added.

“Back in 2008-09 when these buses were introduced we were wondering about the sliding windows, rectangular headlamps used by BEST. Back then, these buses were performing poorly and their body quality was degrading day by day. We didn't expect much from these buses but suddenly after completion of 7.5 years of service BEST Rebuild almost 90% of fleet from the total of 594 buses and made them gigantic giants worthy to serve Mumbaikars. Sliding windows were replaced with dropping windows, scroll boards with digital display boards and many more. This led bus fans to attract more towards these buses. And yes all these changes stayed strong till their last day of service. Kudos to the Engineering and Maintenance Departments of BEST,” he added.

Another bus fan, Arpan Mitra narrated his experience.

He said, "I have special emotional attachment with these Tata cng buses since It was allotted to Deonar Depot as brand new in 2007. I used to travel in these Tata cng bus model on various route from Anushakti Nagar to College and my work places.These particular bus model of 50xx SeriesTata Lpo1510 Bs3 cng introduced in the year 2007 and this bus 5594/MT was mfg in 2009. Initially these buses had poor build quality.But in 2016 it was rectified after body rebuild.

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