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Rediff.com  » Business » Shops may come up at 6 BEST depots

Shops may come up at 6 BEST depots

June 29, 2006 14:21 IST
At least six bus depots in Mumbai may go in for construction of commercial complexes. But that would be possible only if the state government agrees to commercialise one third land coming under the BEST Undertaking.

The proposal for 30 per cent commercial use of land available with BEST was mooted by city mayor Datta Dalvi at a BMC state coordination committee meeting on Monday.

"The proposal is at the initial stage. It is up to the municipal corporation to take the issue with the government," said Surendra Bagalkar, chairman, BEST.

He said earlier the BEST committee had asked the state government for commercialisation of 15 per cent BEST land which the latter permitted. "At present, we have only one commercialised depot at 7-Bungalow in Andheri," Bagalkar added.

Sunil Ganacharya, member of the BEST committee favoured the new proposal. "Fifteen per cent commercialisation policy is not viable. It is not able to raise enough funds for BEST which has been continuously running into losses for the last couple of years," he said.

On depots which may be viable for such commercialisation, Ganacharya said, "In the beginning, we will be taking six depots at Anik, Pratiksha Nagar, Govandi, Deonar, Kala Killa and Dharavi for commercialisation. These depots are adjoining each other and land is available there," he said. Depots at Goregaon and Oshiwara also have good stretches of land.

Refusing to comment on the amount of funds that BEST will be able to raise through the process, Ganacharya said, "It depends on area to area as prices differ. But it is certain that at a time when the fuel prices are going through the roof, the financial health of the transport undertaking will get some support from this venture."

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