A RTI query has revealed that the total deposits and investments of civic-run Brihanmumbai Electric Supply Transport (BEST) stand at a meagre Rs 57 crore. RTI Activist Anil Galgali had recently soughtinformation regarding various investments and deposits by this loss-making undertaking which provides civic transport and electricity to millions in the city.
According to the reply given by BEST on April 12, their total investments and deposits were a mere Rs 56.9crore. Out of this, Rs 42.19 crore is invested in the Electric Supply Contingency Reserve Fund also known as the ECRF. BEST has invested Rs 2 crore in the Generation ofElectricity Fund (GEF).
It has put another Rs 11.25 crore infixed deposits in the Peddar road branch of Central Bank ofIndia for the BEST Staff Benefit Fund and are earning aninterest of 7 per cent.
For the Best Staff Family Welfare Fund, BEST hasinvested an amount of Rs 1.35 crore at the same bank and areearning an interest of 7.40 per cent.
Canara Bank holds deposits of BEST worth Rs 39.28lakh against the BEST Employees Welfare Fund. On this amountthey are earning of interest of 7.55 per cent, the response tothe RTI query said.
If suburban railway services are the 'arteries' ofMumbai, then the bus services run by BEST across the vast areaof Brihanmumbai limits, can be very well called the 'bloodvessels' of this metropolis.
Earlier this week, BEST decided to suspend AC busservices in the megapolis from April 17 owing to significantlosses. BEST has 266 AC buses which operate on 25 routes.