Crisis-ridden BEST seeks Rs 100 cr from BMC

Mumbai, Mar 29 | Updated: Mar 30 2007, 07:43am hrs
The Brihanamumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking (BEST), which is a lifeline for Mumbaikars and also engaged in power distribution, is reeling under huge financial burden. The BEST has approached the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to seek Rs 100 crore.

The transport division of the BEST has been incurring losses for over a decade. The undertaking entirely depends on its electric supply division to subsidise the transport divisions loss of Rs 140 crore.

This apart, the BEST has to suffer an additional financial burden of Rs 10 crore every month as wages to its employees after the implementation of the Pay Revision Commission (PRC).

BEST general manager Uttam Khobragade told FE that the unreasonable, illegal and irrational decisions taken in the past have put an additional financial burden on the undertaking. Khobragade cited flaws in the agreement recommending the revision of the wage scale to 120% as against 100% as per the recommendations of the Pay Revision Commission. Khobragade further noted that the recommendations of the pay revision commission were not acceptable to the employees union and so an arbitrator was appointed. The arbitrator in his recommendations had also suggested a wage revision of 100%.

Despite these recommendations and arbitrators award, 120% pay revision was brought into effect which put additional monthly burden of Rs 10 crore on the undertaking. He admitted that in view of acute financial crunch the undertaking was not in a position to make payment to its contractors and suppliers.