BEST wants government to create a special grant amid its rising deficit

BEST wants government to create a special grant amid its rising deficit

As it stares at a projected deficit of ₹2,350 crores in 2020/21, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking has for the first time asked the state government to develop a special grant for its transport wing.

In case you didn't know, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has already set aside a ₹1,500 crores conditional allocation for BEST in its budget this year. The civic body also gave BEST a grant of ₹1,941 crores along with a bailout of ₹2,000 crores earlier.

However, all the financial aid has not been enough for the bus corporation as it is still paying back dues of ₹185 crores every month to settle the multiple loans it took. The loans were taken by BEST to meet its expenses, which consist of its expenses and payment of salaries.

As per a BEST official, the minimum ticket fare of ₹5 from ₹8 for non-AC buses in July last year had caused the bus corporation's revenue to drop to ₹1.70 crores from ₹2.60 crores.

BEST Chairman Anil Patankar told Mumbai Mirror that they have already sent a letter to government seeking provision of a special grant. He added that they are hoping that their request is taken into consideration as it will help them get over their financial crisis.

Also Read: BEST Gains At The Cost Of Autos

Meanwhile, no official has quoted a figure, the BEST expects a grant of at least ₹5,000 crore comes their way.

Earlier this month, the transport wing had announced that BEST buses will provide free bus services for BMC school children. BEST started the services of a free bus ride for BMC school kids from Thursday, February 20. 

To ensure that this move is not misused, BEST authorities have stated that children can only avail free bus service on their school route during the school timings by showing a valid ID card. In addition to this, specially-abled commuters can also avail free bus services.

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