Mumbai (Maharashtra): With an aim to ease travel for tourists visiting the city of Mumbai and increase the tourist footfall, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) announced another hop-on-hop-off (Ho-Ho) AC bus service for tourists, said officials on Sunday.
The buses will start from today and the move coincides with the 75th foundation day of BEST. “Passengers can buy tickets for Rs 150 and travel for an entire day in similar tourist buses, after alighting at any designated stop. They can also board other buses operating on the route. It’ll make ‘Mumbai Darshan’ more fun and convenient for tourists,” Lokesh Chandra, GM BEST said.
Chandra also added that the double-decker electric buses are likely to be unveiled very soon.
“This year we are celebrating the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. The new electric buses that we have will also increase, in that 50 per cent of our buses will be electric buses by the end of the year 2023 and in 2026 all our buses will be electric like this. As the maximum number of buses are being operated in BEST in the whole country, in future also we will have the maximum number of electric buses,’ he added.
Currently, the Ho-Ho buses are functional from Gateway of India to Juhu Chowpatty, with several tourist halts on the way. The new addition of another Ho-Ho bus will operate from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) to various other spots around the city.
Notably, BJP leader MLA Ashish Shelar on July 15 had requested Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to intervene and cancel the contract awarded by the BEST for procuring 2,100 e-buses from Evey Trans Private Limited.
The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking had awarded the contract of procuring 2,100 e-buses to Evey Trans Private Limited. But the Bombay High Court had recently stated that the tender process was ‘incorrect’.
Shelar said despite this the BEST has yet not cancelled the said contract. Shelar vide his letter to the deputy chief minister, has sought his intervention to ensure that the contract is cancelled without the BEST initiating further action with regards to the procurement of the buses.
“This matter is serious and hence the government must immediately intervene,” he said.
It is surprising that despite the judgement of the Bombay High Court, the BEST management is still helping this said company to get the contract, he said.