The Shiv Sena-led Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport’s (BEST) committee members, tired of the undertaking’s depleting financial health, have demanded the removal of General Manager Surendra Bagde. This comes following public outrage over the BEST’s prevailing financial situation which has degraded with a mere 25 lakh commuters daily. The losses amount upto Rs 1,760 crore so far.Committee members across political parties are upset and claim that there is a difference of opinion between them and the administration. The bone of contention for quite some time has been the Trimax supplied electronic ticket issuing machines (ETIMs). On Thursday, BEST committee members, led by ruling party Shiv Sena, demanded sending Bagde back to the state government.”The administration is not considering the reports brought up by the sub-committee on the Trimax issue. We should send the General Manager back to the state government,” said Anil Kokil, former chairman and member of BEST Committee from Shiv Sena.He was supported by senior Sena leader and member, Suhas Samant who had raised the Trimax issue. “The conductors are suffering as the ETIM machines are not working. The administration is not taking our suggestions seriously,” said Samant.The chairman of BEST, Ashish Chemburkar was irked that many head of departments of BEST are not present for the meeting at a time when the undertaking is in peril. “Our situation has become like a soap opera. I personally visited depots where I saw the poor condition of these ticket issuing machines. Despite giving full freedom to change the software/hardware of the existing ETIMs, the administration is working on its own without coordinating with us,” said Chemburkar.Opposition parties claimed that it is Sena’s doing. “If the Sena is ready to give the ‘No Confidence Motion’ against the General Manager in writing then we shall support them,” said Ravi Raja, BEST member from Congress.Meanwhile Surendra Bagde, who took charge as BEST’s General Manager last May, is now out of India on a tour. In his tenure the 44,000 employees went on strike after the undertaking failed to pay salaries on time.SITUATION WORSENSThe ETIMs were introduced around seven years ago At present 65 per cent of ETIMs are not in working condition Passengers are also getting paper tickets
Shiv Sena

political parties

Maharashtra Government

commuters

financial health

Ravi Raja

BEST Committee

General Manager

Ashish Chemburkar

Anil Kokil

Surendra Bagde

electronic ticket issuing machines

ETIMs

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BEST committee members demand General Manager’s removal