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BEST losing over Rs 1.7 lakh a day due to SCLR diversion: RTI

BEST, the transport wing of Municipal Corportation of Greater Mumbai, is incurring a loss of Rs. 1.79 lakh RPT Rs. 1.79 lakh per day due to the decision of MMRDA and civic body MCGM to close a route on the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR), an RTI query has revealed.

The right turn towards Kurla station on Santacruz-Chembur Link Road was closed to decongest the route in May, but it has instead caused inconvenience to commuters, besides the BEST (Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport) incurring a loss of Rs. 1.79 lakh per day due to the same, the response to an RTI query filed by activist Anil Galgali showed.

Assistant Depot Manager, BEST, Abhay Shelar, has stated in the reply that the distance and travel time of buses on 18 routes has been stretched due to the closure.

“Since the diversion has led to an increase of distance by 1.3 kms and total 1,411 trips are undertaken on the 18 routes, it is resulting in an extra distance travel of 1834.3 km per day,” the RTI reply read.

“BEST undertaking incurs a cost of Rs. 97.72 per km, hence, an additional 1,834 kms is resulting in a total loss of Rs. 1,79,248 (1835×97.72) on a daily basis,” it further said.

BEST has also mentioned in the reply that it is also contemplating a fare hike of Rs 4 on these 18 routes to recover the loss.

“This is the perfect planning to sabotage the public transport system. At a time when the High Court has taken cognisance of city’s worsening traffic problem, officers and Mumbai traffic police is making mockery of this,” Galgali said.

BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta and joint police commissioner (traffic) Milind Bharambe were not available for comments despite repeated attempts.

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