Travel by civic buses in Mumbai likely to get costlier

MUMBAI: Travel by civic transport utility -run buses in Mumbai beyond a certain distance is likely to get costlier.
The transport wing of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has proposed a fare hike ranging from Re 1 to Rs 12 on longer routes.
The BEST committee yesterday voted for a bus fare hike ranging from Re 1 to Rs 12 for distance of over 4 km, while no hike has been recommended for shorter routes, said a senior official from BEST.
The Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking is an arm of the BMC.
He said this is simply a recommendation from the committee and in order to get it implemented, it will require a nod from higher authorities.
“Once BMC gives its nod for fare hike, the same (proposal) will be sent to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority for a final approval,” he said.
“The move is aimed at reducing losses of the transport wing of the civic body,” the official said.
Anil Kokil, chairman of the BEST committee, said, “The fare hike is part of our reforms measures which have been taken to serve the larger interest of the transport utility.”
BEST buses run across the island city, its suburbs and also to adjoining Thane and Navi Mumbai. They ferry 30 lakh commuters daily.
Ashish Shelar, Mumbai BJP chief, criticised the Shiv Sena, which rules the BMC, over the proposed hike. Shelar, also an MLA, used the issue to take a swipe at the Shiv Sena, which has criticised the Modi government over key policy decisions like demonetisation and GST.
“Union government’s decision of demonetisation and rolling out GST is anti-people? Now BEST has hiked the fare for the welfare of its employees? This is BEST’s best drama,” Shelar tweeted.