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BEST asks Mumbai Metro Rail to compensate its losses

Urvashi Valecha Mumbai | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on December 19, 2017

BEST has also been facing problems because of the losses in advertising revenues

Citing losses caused by the construction of the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Mumbai Metro Line 3, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has asked the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) for compensation.

BEST’s contention is that the metro construction work has not only caused traffic congestion on streets but also has taken up space on the roads, which is why the transport company has had to re-route buses causing heavy losses.

BEST is the transport undertaking of the Shiv Sena- led Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, while MMRC is a joint venture between the central government and the BJP-led Maharashtra Government.

Anil Kokil, Chairman of BEST committee, in a letter addressed to Ashwini Bhide, Managing Director of MMRC, said that with the kind of losses BEST is going through at the moment, they will not be able to withstand losses caused by the metro construction. Kokil also mentioned that he had raised an alarm about loss of revenues because of re-routing of buses in an earlier (June 2017) letter to which, MMRC had not responded adequately.

BEST has also been facing problems because of the losses in advertising revenues. In this regard, the Committee Chairman said, “ Because of the construction, a lot of our bus stops have become dysfunctional. BEST is losing out on the revenues we gained through hoardings on those bus stops.”

Kokil said the losses in advertising revenues due to dysfunctional bus stops ran up to ₹35 crore. As per reports, as of November 2017, the cash-strapped organisation was sitting on losses of approximately ₹ 880 crore. At the moment, BEST buses serves is one of the preferred choice of commute for 30 lakh passengers daily in Mumbai.

Kokil proposed a meeting between representatives of BEST and MMRC to decipher the amount that the MMRC will have to give to the former as compensation. At the time of going to print, MMRC had not responded to an email questionnaire sent to them.

The writer is an intern with BusinessLine Mumbai Bureau

Published on December 19, 2017
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