The resident of Lokhandwala complex and surrounding areas has reason to cheer. Now they will be able to travel from Lokhandwala circle to Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in state-of-the-art Hybrid air-conditioned buses. The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport undertaking (BEST) has started new route from Lokhandwala to BKC. The cost of each bus is around Rs 1.61 crore.
The long-awaited hybrid-electric AC bus service from Lokhandwala was inaugurated by Yogiraj Dabhadkar, K / West Ward Committee Chairman and BJP Corporator from ward No. 60, on June 18th, 2018. The inauguration ceremony was held at Lokhandwala Circle.Ranjana Patil, corporator from ward No. 63 alonngwith other dignitaries, BEST officials, BJP workers and large number of locals were present at inauguration ceremony.
The BEST will operate new hybrid electric air-conditioned buses on behalf of MMRDA, both the parties have signed an agreement to this effect. It was a long pending demand of Lokhandwala residents which is fulfilled by efforts of corporator Dabhadkar. It is worth mentioning here that there were no adequate bus services were available from Lokhandwala to BKC, which caused heavy difficulties to locals from long time.
Yogiraj Dabhadkar – K / West Ward Committee Chairman and BJP Corporator from ward No. 60 says “The need of nation is Green Energy and I am a hardcore supporter of it. I constantly followed up with BEST and MMRDA to provide Hybrid buses in my area to avoid pollution. Had I wanted normal bus, I could have started them long ago. In a bid to reduce pollution and roll out green electric buses in my area, my efforts turned out to be fruitful; we are the first in western suburb to get green bus. Beside hybrid bus in my area, my efforts would be to use green energy wherever possible.”
It may be noted that these buses would mark the return of AC buses to be run by BEST in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). The undertaking had scrapped AC buses in the city last year as the cost of maintaining the buses was higher than revenue.
Dhaval Shah–Chairman Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizen’s Association said “We are thankful to local corporator Yogiraj Dabhadkar who took personal interest to start this bus in the interest of Lokhandwala residents. We want that timing of service to be rescheduled / prepone timing of 0815 bus. This would help bank and other officegoers, whose office commenced at 09.00 am, so they can reach their on time. We also want that instead of 2 services atleast 6 services be made operational in the morning and atleast 3 services in the evening”.
Karan Jotwani – Co Founder, Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizen’s Association says “The bus should be routed through within the lokhandwala market and it should also halt near tarapore tower for residents from Oshiwara. The route should also include Juhu Tara Road and linking road to make travel faster and quicker. Earlier AC bus AS-4 had right route which was up-to World Trade Centre (WTC). We have already requested local corporator to look in to the matter and have also wriiten a letter to BEST authorities to take necessary steps in larger public interest”.
Lokhandwala circle, 4 bungalows, Indian oil nagar, Esic Nagar, JVPD bus stn, Cooper hospital, Mithibai college, Santacruz depot, Santacruz station, Khar stn, Peer Mohammed Chowk, Kala nagar, MMRDA Family court, RBI, I.T office, Tata Colony, Bharat nagar, ICICI bank, Diamond market, Citibank and BKC telephone exchange. The buses will be plying on all days except Sunday and holidays.
Timing- Morning: 08.15 and 08.45 from Lokhandwala circle.
Timing- Evening: 07.55 pm and 08.15 pm from BKC.
Advanced features of the hybrid electric bus:
The buses are “Make in India” , dream project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, manufactured by by Tata Motors. The Bharat Stage IV-compliant buses are run on diesel and electric power. These buses are low-floored and have facilities such as mobile charging points, digital displays, passenger announcement system. It has 32 bucket seat. Their electronic braking mechanism also generates power each time the driver hits the brake.
Author: Sitaram Mewati
Award winning journalist