Looks like NMMT failed to do its homework before beginning bus services to Mumbai. Polls that should have been erected by the public transport has still not been erecting forcing NMMT drivers to face opposition of BEST. And after all of this, the NMMT is now trying to get MCGM’s clearance to erect the polls. It was quite a long wait until NMMT was given the go-ahead to begin bus services in Mumbai. Soon after this, the NMMT purchased new AC Volvo buses under a JNNURM scheme and initiated services on a route between CBD to Bandra. And the occasion was made a moment of celebrations that saw Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik and State Transport Commissioner Deepak Kapoor arriving at NMMT to join the formal inauguration of the services from the all new buses. While all seemed to be good till then, the controversy started when BEST stopped NMMT to stop their buses at the polls at bus stops. While according to the rules, the NMMT should have got the MCGM and Traffic Police’s approval for erecting polls on their route to Mumbai, but for reasons best known to NMMT management the latter overlooked the rule to begin services. And now that BEST is objecting, the NMMT is running to the MCGM administration to get their clearance for erecting polls. In an attempt to cover the blunder made by his office, the NMMT General Manager added that it was in accordance to the requisites of the JNNURM scheme that they started the services and soon the MCGM Commissioner Dr. Jairaj Pathak will give the approval to their proposal of erecting polls. The BEST – NMMT have been at loggerheads for years with the former not letting the latter begin services in Mumbai but with Deepak Kapoor taking charge as the State Transport Commissioner – the NMMT managed to win the battle against Uttam Khobragade led BEST. But looks like the Uttam Khobragade will not let go off the fight with NMMT so easily and the polls controversy is proof of this. To settle the controversy NMMT has to erect 36 polls between CBD and Bandra – 16 of these will fall within Navi Mumbai. But one thing is for sure, as far as the poll controversy is concerned NMMT is facing the heat of its own haste. Instead of improving its services in Navi Mumbai, in a political scoring game, NMMT Chairman Shashi Damodaran ensured that the Mumbai services would begin before his tenure ends but the move backfired as the services to Mumbai are marred with controversies since day one. With cameraperson Vinayak Dalvi, Monika Bhosale for NMTV News.
December 27, 2009