Opposition members in the Shiv Sena-led Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) have refused to participate in the undertaking’s week-long anniversary celebrations starting Friday. Sources attributed the decision to delay in action on important proposals and not inviting them to BEST’s social functions.
On August 7, BEST will celebrate 69 years of service, for which rallies and cultural programmes are planned by the undertaking. Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) members have, however, announced a boycott.
In March, Opposition members had demanded a scrutiny of first-aid kits procured by the undertaking for its employees in a bid to check irregularities. Though they were assured of a decision by July 15, they claimed to have got no response yet.
“We had asked the management to expedite decisions on procurement of medicines by the undertaking. A repeated demand to let members scrutinise every tender floated for procuring first-aid kit was constantly ignored. Also, we have always felt neglected as far as being invited to social functions of the undertaking is concerned. So this boycott is called for,” said Sandesh Kondwilkar, Congress member, BEST.
“We have invited all the members to the occasion,” said Mohan Mithbavkar, BEST Chairperson. “Also, the findings on checking irregularities in procuring medicines for BEST employees are awaited,” he added. Starting Friday, BEST will host activities, including streetplays and exhibitions, to celebrate its anniversary on Sunday. A procession of 18 different transport vehicles of the undertaking from Vadala depot to Worli is also planned.
“An exhibition at Ravindra Natya Mandir, Dadar, of the artefacts of BEST is planned in the weekend. The celebration is aimed at asking BEST commuters, lost to other modes of transport, to return to the service. This will also better our financial position,” said Mithbavkar said.
App to trace buses
A mobile application, which allows a commuter to trace a BEST bus and get other details, will be launched in August. The app, designed by a company called Verve, will be available to commuters before the month-end, said officials. Also, BEST will procure 303 new buses by the end of 2016. Additional passenger amenities and facilities for the driver and conductor will be provided in the new buses.