AMAB starts signature campaign
In yet another instance the Aamchi Mumbai Aamchi BEST (AMAB) have started signature campaign by requesting citizens to sign a petition against the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking for the stir.
For this citizens’ group, who is supporting the BEST employees on-going strike, wants more people to join its cause. “We are collecting signatures from as many people as possible. We will put up measures which we feel the BEST should take and then submit it to the state government,” said Vidyadhar Date, who spearheads this citizen movement.
He further alleged BMC and BEST had failed to invest in the city's public transport mechanism and had been encouraging an energyguzzling car-centric system for the metropolis.
“These moves had led to debilitating traffic congestion, worsening air pollution and life-risking overcrowding on the suburban rail network,” said Datte.
The BMC has been focused on the coastal road instead of bus priority lanes, private contractors instead of commuters, BEST’s so-called “inefficiencies” instead of the city's worsening pollution and congestion, and convenience of private motorists instead of safe, affordable and sustainable public transport.
“They are pushing for projects like the Coastal Road and Bandra-Versova sea link, which is meant for private vehicles. This will cause a further decline in BEST ridership,” said transport expert Sandhya Gokhale, who is part of Aamchi Mumbai, Aamchi BEST. Datte also alleged the BEST management looked at its bus service as an essential one under the
Essential Services Maintenance Act only when it came to strikes, but on other occasions, like when it wanted to reduce fleet size, manpower, routes and increase privatisation, it saw the system as a “non essential” one.