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   Home >> Library index >> Buses >> BEST hits road to find better fiscal future 
BEST hits road to find better fiscal future 
Orders Study On Revamping Transport Division 

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking has awarded a Rs 1.98 crore contract to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for a study on how to restructure its transport division. The study will be completed within 52 weeks. 
TCS will carry out a diagnostic study of what ails the transport division and identify its core business systems to enhance performance by making changes. The report will also review how effective the current financial mechanisms are for sustained growth of the BEST and review inter-linkages needed for sustained growth of the transport division. 
The World Bank had insisted that the BEST restructure its loss-making transport division before disbursing a loan of Rs 103 crore, which is being used to buy 644 single-decker buses. The last study had been held in 1962 by Justice H R Gokhale when labour conditions were different. 
TCS was shortlisted among six consultants after the BEST invited bids for the second time as none of the bidders (including TCS) fulfilled the eligibility criterion during the first bid. TCS will identify strengths and weaknesses within the transport division and recommend steps to revamp it. 
TCS will use eight key personnel such as institutional development specialist, legal specialist, HRD specialist, mechanical engineer, transport planner, information systems specialist, system analyst and financial specialist for this study. 
The BEST is the second-largest industrial unit in the city, employing over 37,000 workers in its transport division which collects Rs 721.95 crore from 45,00,000 commuters who use buses every day. It spends Rs 512 crore as establishment costs which comes to nearly 71% of its earnings every year. As these costs are rising, the World Bank insisted on reducing these costs by reducing surplus workers. 
The BEST forms a part of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project which is being financed by the World Bank loan. Out of 34 consultants who showed interest in doing the restructuring after the first bids were invited in 2003, five were shortlisted. 
But technical and financial bids were sent only by three consultants and none of them were found to fulfill minimum standards. So, the BEST raised the budget for this study to Rs 2 crore from Rs 1.23 crore and reinvited bids on April 5, 2004. Out of 19 consultants, six were shortlisted. TCS was found to have met the requirements for the study. 
When the matter came up for discussion on Friday, Congress corporator Ravi Raja said after the study is completed by TCS, the report should be submitted to the BEST committee for its approval and any changes sought to be made by the committee which is the supreme authority in the BEST, should be implemented in the report. 
General manager Swadheen Kshatriya said the report would be placed before the committee for its approval.