The transport division of BEST, which has been incurring losses running into crores, has for the first time announced a Rs 77-crore profit in its budget estimates for the year 2010-11. The good news is that there will be no increase in bus fares. The budget for BEST next year stands at Rs 4,700 crore, around Rs 200 crore more than last year’s budget of Rs 4,514 crore. The year 2009-10 accounts show that the income was Rs 4,500 crore, much more than the income of around Rs 2,481 crore recorded in preceding years. According to BEST officials, the last three years have recorded a 90% growth. The actual results of 2009-10 and the revised budget of 2010-11 presented indicate that BEST is gradually coming out of stagnation in terms of fleet size and number of passengers. Besides, it also undertook network restructuring, increased the frequency of profitable services, focused on advertising on buses and sold CNG to customers filling up gas at BEST depots. All these measures not only reduced costs in the last two years but also pushed the Undertaking toward making a profit. The profits were possible, said BEST officials, because of a host of measures including preventing leakage and theft of electricity. Much credit for this definitely goes to the General Manager of BEST Uttam Khobragade – a daring official who stuck to his guns and showed BEST the path to achieving this milestone. Bureau report – NMTV News.
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