The State government accepted on Tuesday that the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) was facing financial problems.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also incharge of the Urban Development Department, in a written reply to a question raised by BJP MLA Yogesh Sagar said the BEST was facing losses in its daily revenue from Rs. 3.10 crore to Rs. 2.90 crore

The number of buses in the BEST’s fleet has reduced from 4,700 to 3,337. Mr. Fadnavis said, “Due to the unsatisfactory financial condition of the BEST, it has not been able to pay to Rs. 295.70 crore due to retired employees and Rs. 500 crore to the State government for travel tax and other surcharges.” Mr. Fadnavis also said that the BEST had to repay loans worth Rs. 1,890 crore.

Mr. Sagar had also asked if the Trimax ticket operating system had caused problems for the BMC. In reply, Mr. Fadnavis said, “The ETIM machines used for ticket distribution have been facing problems as a result of which BEST administration is working on developing a new system.”

The government is making changes such as bringing in new types of buses. He said, “We are considering the options and priorities of the commuters. We are planning to bring more mini and air-conditioned buses on a rental basis.” The BEST is focused on using the latest technologies.

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