Now cell towers to come up on bus depot land: BEST earn Rs 67 cr

Bus Depo Stand

Mumbai: With then mobile towers to come up on roof tops and open spaces at BEST bus depots in the city, this will not only ensure good connectivity with fewer call drops, but also assure the cash-strapped transport undertaking Rs 67 crore revenue.

A telecom official said, “At a time when cellular operators are finding it increasingly difficult to install mobile towers in some of the high rises or gardens due to opposition from citizens’ groups, they could get reprieve from the BEST allowing installation of cell tower antennae on rooftops or open spaces in depots.”

“In phase-I, 73 depots will be leased out for cell towers for a period of 10 years and in phase-II, 23,“ said a BEST official. BEST officials said its committee members have approved the proposal and they are awaiting a formal approval from the BMC. They added that due precaution was being taken on the locationssites of these cell towers to ensure there’s no `health hazard’.

BEST panel member Ravi Raja said that this will be a good revenue earner for the undertaking. At present, the BEST is losing Rs 60 crore a month in the form of TDLR surcharge which has been withdrawn from monthly power bills. They would need more money to run bus fleet in 2017.