The consultant appointed by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) will present a model detailed project report for one bus station, staff quarter and bus depot to be commercially exploited. The report will be presented within five months, and in this time, the undertaking is also expected to finalise the likely financing model for the project to develop its plots.
The BEST, which operates the bus services in the city, plans to utilise its plots, including 29 bus depots, 30 bus stations and 12 staff quarters with the objective of commercial utilisation for transport-oriented purposes. BEST committee members had approved the appointment of Pricewaterhouse Cooper Limited in consortium with Aakar Architects and Consultants to perform a detailed study of each of these plots within eight months.
The committee members had sought a detailed presentation of the plan during a committee meeting held last week. “The agency presented before the members the merits of undertaking this project. The first two months will be for figuring out the data and doing the survey. It is likely to come with a detailed report of a model bus station, bus depot and staff quarter within the next five months, and it will take in all eight months to understand what possible commercial use can be made out of the 71 owned plots listed for use,” said General Manager (BEST) Jagdish Patil.
However, Shivji Singh, another BEST committee member pointed out that the agency may only look towards their own development instead of public use. “I am of the opinion that this consortium can only look at the properties from a more commercial exploitation standpoint that would benefit only the developers. They are also unlikely to consider any other factor, such as public interest benefit. The proposed models would be more likely to provide one-time payments rather than a sustainable long-term revenue for the undertaking.”