Countering demands by local corporators for subsidising power rates in Mumbai following the state government’s decision to reduce power tariff in the rest of Maharastra by 20 per cent, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking officials Tuesday said that a long-term subsidy for the loss-making transport department was a greater requirement.
Senior BEST officers said even after a subsidy, power rates would be nearly the same as the present tariff. BEST committee members asked the administration to instead press for subsidy for the transport department, for which a Transport Deficit Loss Recovery (TDLR) is charged to 10 lakh island city supply users.
During the committee meeting Tuesday, doubts over the “excess” money spent in purchasing 200 AC buses by BEST were raised by committee member Kedar Hombalkar, who demanded an inquiry into the alleged wastage of public money. The demand was made following a Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission panel refused to refund 50 per cent of the excess amount spent in the purchase of buses under the scheme.