The buses will be rented out for seven years and the entire deal is expected to cost Rs 305.95 crore if passed by the BEST panel.
Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has proposed to acquire 225 new buses on wet lease (rent). The undertaking, which provides public bus services to the city and neighbouring areas, has proposed to take on this fleet of buses, which, includes 100 air-conditioned mini buses, 100 non-air conditioned mini buses and 25 midi buses, on wet lease, according to which, the contractor will take care of the driver and maintenance costs like in the case of airlines.
The buses will be rented out for seven years and the entire deal is expected to cost Rs 305.95 crore if passed by the BEST panel. The proposal had been presented to the very same BEST panel and it was also mentioned that the lowest bidder is ready to provide the mini AC buses at Rs 49 to 50.45 per km, Rs 41 To 43.09 per km for non-AC mini buses and Rs 45 to 47.30 for midi buses.
The BEST management had earlier tabled a similar proposal but it had been shelved by both BEST and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) due to concerns of privatisation. A BEST official said, “We have brought back the proposal because we have no other option. We can no longer afford to be stubborn about renting buses as we do not have the financial capacity to buy, maintain and run our own AC buses.”
The earlier proposal was for wet leasing of 50 mini AC buses and the size of the buses was reduced with the view that smaller buses would make it easier for the buses to manoeuvre in evening peak traffic hours as well as negotiate the city’s small and narrow lanes.