BEST gave a budget estimate of Rs 6,800 crore to BMC
GM of BEST undertaking Vijay Singhal with civic chief I S Chahal, on Tuesday
While presenting its budget estimates for the financial year 2024-25, Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) has sought Rs 3,000 crore aid from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). As BEST is an undertaking of the BMC, budget estimates are presented to the BMC for final approval and for seeking funds.
BEST general manager Vijay Singhal submitted the budget for 2024-25 to the municipal commissioner I S Chahal on Tuesday. A BEST official said there is no provision for a fare hike in the budget. BEST has presented a budget of Rs 6,872.76 crore with a deficit of Rs 2,513.94 crore. In last year’s budget, BEST had estimated a deficit of Rs 1,601.80 crore which was later offset with the R800 crore aid from BMC. Meanwhile, a BEST official said, “We have sought Rs 3,000 crore from BMC as financial aid. This money is mainly used to procure new buses. BEST has a plan to add 2,237 new buses to its fleet.”
In March 2023, BEST had scrapped 1,696 old buses and by March 2024 BEST will have to scrap 541 buses. BEST has 2,978 buses of which 1,684 have been procured on rent basis while the remaining is owned by the undertaking. As per the memorandum of understanding between the BEST and its employee’s union, the undertaking needs to maintain 3,300 buses in its fleet. As the present condition doesn’t meet this stipulation, BEST GM Singhal wrote a letter to municipal commissioner Chahal seeking Rs 3,419 crore to purchase 2,237 buses in a “phased manner.”
In 2019, BEST reduced the ticket fare, as per which, the ticket fare for non-AC buses is in the range of Rs 5 to Rs 20 and for AC buses the fare is in the range of Rs6 to Rs 25. Previously the minimum ticket for a non-AC bus was R8 and the minimum ticket for an AC bus was Rs 20.
Rs 1,601.80 cr
Estimated deficit in BEST’s budget