The total deposits and investments of civic-run Brihanmumbai Electric Supply Transport (BEST) stand at a paltry Rs 57 crore, a RTI query has revealed. RTI Activist Anil Galgali had recently sought information 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 56.9 crore. 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 of Electricity Fund (GEF).
It has put another Rs 11.25 crore in fixed deposits in the Peddar road branch of Central Bank of India for the BEST Staff Benefit Fund and are earning an interest of 7 per cent. For the Best Staff Family Welfare Fund, BEST has invested an amount of Rs 1.35 crore at the same bank and are earning an interest of 7.40 per cent. Canara Bank holds deposits of BEST worth Rs 39.28 lakh against the BEST Employees Welfare Fund. On this amount they are earning of interest of 7.55 per cent, the response to the RTI query said. If suburban railway services are the 'arteries' of Mumbai, then the bus services run by BEST across the vast area of Brihanmumbai limits, can be very well called the 'blood vessels' of this metropolis. Earlier this week, BEST has decided to suspend AC bus services in the megapolis from April 17 owing to significant losses. BEST has 266 AC buses which operate on 25 routes.
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