THE BRIHANMUMBAI ELECTRIC Supply and Transport (BEST) will write to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), asking for compensation for losses it is incurring due to Metro construction in the city. The bus utility claims it has lost out on loyal passengers and its operational expenses have increased owing to the traffic diversions for the metro construction. Construction of four Metro lines — Metro 1 (Versova-Ghatkopar), Metro 3 (Colaba-Seepz), Metro 7 (Dahisar East- Andheri East) and Metro 2A (Dahisar West-D N Nagar) is underway in the city.
In a committee meeting on Thursday, BEST member Sunil Ganacharya raised a point of order concerning the losses incurred by the undertaking due to the metro construction. He said that the MMRDA had compensated other stakeholders in the project, and could compensate a loss-making utility.
“A few days ago, one of our buses was damaged after dashing against a metro construction site. We incurred losses of Rs 1.5 lakh due to this. Also, due to the traffic diversions and the bottlenecks at various places, our buses are making fewer trips, further reducing our ridership,” Ganacharya said, adding that the undertaking was also spending more on fuel and paying extra to employees working over-time.
While it normally covers a distance of 5 lakh kilometres per day, the BEST is already losing out on at least 1,000 kilometers due to the blockage, Ganacharya said. “We have taken note of the concerns raised. The administration has been asked to calculate the losses incurred and prepare a report, post which we will draft a letter to the MMRDA,” Anil Kokil, Chairman, BEST. “We will look into their (BEST) proposal and if it is within the rules, an appropriate decision will be taken,” said Dilip Kawathkar, MMRDA spokesperson.