With an objective to boost the public transport in the city,the central sanctioning and monitoring committee on Tuesday sanctioned Rs 276 crore for buying 900 buses.
The Centre has agreed to give us funds for buying new buses under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme, said Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Chairman Pravin Chedda.
The BMC plans to have 4,000 buses in its fleet by March 2009. With the funds for additional 900 buses sanctioned,the number will reach 4,900.
Best is also planning to increase its services to the satellite cities of Mumbai. Its buses,presently ply in Thane,Mira-Bhayander and Navi Mumbai. We plan to increase our services in the MMR region and provide quality services to our commuters. Early this month,the state government had relaxed norms for the municipal transport units in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR),under which a free-travel policy has been adopted in the region.
Under the JNNURM scheme,the Centre had recently started issuing grants to the municipal transport units for buying new buses. Like the BEST,transport units of Thane and Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporations have also applied for funds to improve their fleet,as reported by Newsline on January 25.
We have also applied for funds under the JNNURM scheme to improve our transport facilities. We are hoping that the funds will be sanctioned on February 20,the day we have our meeting with the central sanctioning and monitoring committee, said TMC commissioner Nandkumar Jantre.