Monday, December 06, 2021

Mumbai: 300 additional BEST buses on road by March

Delay in acquiring new lot due to delay in getting ARAI certificate is adding to dearth of running buses: BEST.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
February 7, 2017 3:21:23 am
best buses, mumbai best buses, mumbai transport corp, ARAI, Automotive Research Association of India, 300 more best buses mumbai, best buses by tata, mumbai public transport Two buses of the UD buses brand are likely to hit the roads in a fortnight, senior BEST officials said. The new type of air-conditioned buses are expected to be fuel efficient and superior than the fleet of AC buses.

A DELAY in getting Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) certificate has delayed the procurement of 300 additional buses for the city fleet. BEST was supposed to acquire the prototype of 300 additional buses from Tata by the end of last year. The buses, designed to be commuter-friendly and with more incentives, are now expected to hit the road by March. An ARAI approval is required to clear the prototype of any new type of vehicle being introduced on the road. At the BEST committee meeting Monday, senior officials said while inspection of the buses was completed last month, procedural delays have held up its procurement. “We are through with checking the technical details of the buses. Tata now awaits ARAI approval for supplying the bus. We could expect it within few days,” a senior BEST official said.

“BEST has constantly complained of delays from the Tatas in acquiring the buses. Looking at the frequent reasoning given in the meetings, their procurement is likely to be delayed till the municipal elections,” said Ravi Raja, committee member.

Meanwhile, scrapping of buses past their age limit has led to shortage of buses on the road. With no significant addition in new buses, commuters have complained of long waits. “The undertaking should have scrapped the old buses after at least the first slot of the new buses were received. The delayed procurement is hurting commuters’ interests and is going to to be a major setback to students especially with the coming board exams. There is sheer lack of planning on BEST’s part,” said Kedar Hombalkar, committee member.

While BEST pays around Rs 55 lakh for each bus, officials said they would deduct the due penalty for a late delivery. Around 100 buses have been scrapped by the undertaking in the past eight months. BEST now owns a fleet of 3,797 buses of which around 3,556 are operational. Over 20 buses will be reduced from the fleet this month.

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