One of the first decisions taken by the new civic chief, Praveen Pardeshi, is a strategic one: Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), parent body of the loss-making Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking, has decided to merge both budgets and even give BEST a monthly grant.
Until then, BMC will grant Rs 100 crore to BEST each month, starting June," said Mayor V Mahadeshwar, after a high-level meeting chaired by him on Thursday.
BEST has been struggling to pay the salaries of its 35,000-odd employees, amounting to an average of Rs 184 crore every month.
BEST Sanyukt Kamgar Kruti Samiti (BSKKS) had gone on a nine-day strike in January, demanding changes that would cost the undertaking an additional Rs 900 crore.
"This is a good step, but the amount of the grant is too little," said Ravi Raja, BEST member and Leader of Opposition.
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