Mumbai's BEST takes 400 leased Tata CNG buses off roads after three fire incidents in one month
The buses involved in the incidents are made by Tata Motors and operated by M/S Mateshwari Ltd
Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), Mumbai's transport body has taken off 400 leased buses off the roads of the Financial Capital of India, after a third incident of a CNG bus catching fire occurred within one month.
The buses involved in the incidents are made by Tata Motors and operated by M/S Mateshwari Ltd.
As per BEST, all 400 buses will be off road till the OEM (original manufacturer) and operator take necessary corrective measures to ensure that such incidents do not happen in future.
The latest incident of a leased CNG bus catching fire took place in Andheri East around 6.55 pm.
No one was injured as the bus on route 415 caught fire after the passengers had got down outside the Andheri railway station, officials said.
On January 25, a CNG bus hired from Mateshwari caught fire in Bandra West, while another CNG bus of the same operator caught fire at Chakala junction in Andheri East on February 11.
In the incident on Wednesday evening outside Andheri station, the bus was completely gutted before the two fire engines and a jumbo tanker of the Mumbai fire brigade doused the blaze within 15-20 minutes after it started.
BEST provides public bus service to Mumbai city and neighbouring areas. It has a fleet of around 3,500 buses including more than 400 single decker e-buses. Daily, more than 30 lakh commuters travel on BEST buses.
A few months ago, BEST had terminated the contract of another bus operator who had wet-leased mini buses, citing poor service. The number of buses available for service could go down below 3,000 now.
Sunil Ganacharya, former BEST committee member, said the lack of BEST's control over the maintenance of leased buses was the cause of such incidents.