A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Bombay High Court to restore Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport’s (BEST) air-conditioned bus services in the city.
The AC buses were suspended by the undertaking in April this year owing to the heavy losses they incurred. The PIL filed by B B Shetty, a resident of Oshiwara, says that the decision has inconvenienced many people of the city, especially senior citizens, who were dependent on these air-conditioned buses instead of the overcrowded local trains.
The petition says the decision to suspend the service has restricted and violated Article 19(1) of the Constitution of India, which provides the right to move freely through the territory of India. It also states that the BEST’s claims of the department running into losses is an excuse to hide its mismanagement.
“In spite of many complaints, cognizance is not taken by the BEST undertaking. The time has come that the government should appoint administrator by replacing the General Manager of BEST who is unable to run the BEST undertaking, The BEST committee consists of politicians from all parties, which in our view are more interested in developing their trade union which results in inefficiency, nepotism and affects productivity, therefore public interest is their last priority,” reads the petition.
It also states that the petitioners have made many representations to various authorities, but there has been no response. The petition has prayed for the restoration of the AC bus service and also the appointment of new officers to exercise powers and perform functions and duties of the BEST undertaking under relevant sections of the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act.
The petitioner represented by Advocate V P Patil mentioned the PIL before a division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice N M Jamdar on Friday, and has been posted for hearing on June 16.