The transport division of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking received yet another setback Saturday after a BEST driver was booked by the Mumbai Police for drunk driving.
At 3pm on Saturday, bus driver Bhagaji Nana Thorat (50), working on route 207 from Gaikwad Nagar to Dahisar (east), was arrested after he was found driving rashly just outside the police station at Kandivali. Though the amount of alcohol in his blood was not immediately determined, the Kandivali police booked him for drunk driving.
We have sent Thorat’s blood samples for chemical analysis and the report is awaited. However, he was found to be under the influence of alcohol and booked for drunk driving,” said Mahipati Ganapati Pandharmise, senior police inspector, Kandivali police station.
A BEST spokesperson said, “A fact finding inquiry in this regard will be carried out soon.”
According to BEST, a passenger called the police to inform them that the bus driver was driving rashly.
This is the second such incident. Earlier on Friday, another BEST driver Shankar Mane (35) was arrested for attacking his co-workers at a bus depot in Mumbai Central and attempting suicide. This incident had already sent shockwaves through the administration, and was termed as a “rare” instance in the history of the Undertaking.
With a clean record for the last five years since he joined service, Mane allegedly attacked two of his co-workers and consumed poison after a fight over duty schedule. While Mane’s family has alleged harassment by the two staffers, Mane attacked, the administration is probing whether a “personal issue” could have compelled their driver to react aggressively.
“Mane’s record is clear, except for an accident. In five years that he has worked for BEST, his behaviour has been found to be good,” said Sunil Ganacharya, a BEST committee member.
Expressing surprise over the incident, Ganacharya said the administration is looking into all possible angles that could have led to the incident.
“The driver’s statement is yet to be recorded. Only after that we will be able to begin an investigation into the incident,” said a BEST spokesperson.
Mane along with Dilip Dongre (55) and Ratan Shedge (53) are undergoing treatment at the Nair Hospital.