THE BRIHANMUMBAI Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday asked the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) to curtail operational expenses if they expect to receive any grants. The utility must cut down on additional expenses and implement cost-cutting if they expect financial aid from BMC, officials said. BEST chairman Anil Kokil, along with BEST committee members, had visited BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta to seek financial help for the undertaking which is facing losses to the tune of Rs 2,500 crore.
“We have been asked to cut down on additional expenses to ensure we receive the funds. We had asked them for a loan of Rs 2,000 crore to meet the financial incapacity of the undertaking. He has asked us to work on our inefficiencies,” said Rajesh Kusale, BEST committee member from the Shiv Sena who attended the meeting. “It is the mandatory duty of the BMC to look after its own utility when it is in a bad shape. The Corporation must fund us,” said Ravi Raja, the Opposition leader of the Congress and BEST committee member.
The BMC wants BEST to curb inefficiency and implement cost cutting. “We have called them again on Friday to discuss the lines on which they are ready to rework their expenses. While loans could be given, we also want an assurance that the public money would be returned to us. They must give up on certain privileges for the same,” a senior BEST official said.