BEST strike

BEST’s 41 lakh passengers have a difficult day ahead. Not one of BEST’s 3,391 buses will ply in Mumbai today, as company workers, including those in BEST’s power supply section, go on a 72-hour strike that began at 11 pm, yesterday. Here is what to expect.

The effect

BEST’s commuters will have to use taxis and autorickshaws or local trains. BEST will incur a loss of over Rs 10 crore. 

Relief measures

BEST plans to deploy 300 newly recruited drivers, who are expected to stay away from the strike. Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation is also expected to press an, as yet unspecified, number of buses from its fleet for BEST use.

Fleet taxi services like the Mumbai Gold Taxi Service and the Meru Cab Service will be available.

No additional trains

Neither Western nor Central Railways plan to run additional trains on the day

Report overcharging

To pre-empt overcharging, both taxi and auto unions have given out phone numbers passengers can call if they are charged more than the approved fare.

Taxi overcharging may be reported on 23078404 or 23078414. If overcharged by autorickshaw drivers, contact union on 28739264 or 28981262, during office hours.

No auto strike

The Mumbai Autorick-shawmen’s Union (MAU) will not join the strike, as earlier planned.

“We decided against joining the strike after Home Minister R R Patil met RTO officials, police and autorickshaw unions,” said MAU General Secretary and Strike Action Committee Chief Shankar Salvi. 

NMMT buses may soon run on Mumbai’s roads

  By: Aditya Anand
   April 17, 2007

… but only if Navi Mumbai passengers want it; BEST will carry out a survey

We may soon see Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) buses zipping along the roads of Mumbai. But this will happen only if Navi Mumbai passengers want it.

The state transport authority will conduct a passenger survey to decide the course of action, said V Y Amdekar, the head of BEST’s transport department.

Q&A form

Though modalities are still being fine tuned, sources in the BEST’s transport department indicated that passengers travelling to the city from Navi Mumbai will have to fill out a form.

Sources disclosed that passengers would be asked about their most-preferred route, and bus frequency, among other details.

According to NMMT officials, they want to operate direct services from Navi Mumbai areas like Vashi and Nerul to Nariman Point, Colaba and Borivli.


The new BEST chairman, Sanjay Potnis, disclosed that the undertaking was not only keen to tie up not just with NMMT but also Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation and the Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Transport buses.

“We have to study the routes that they want to ply along,” he said, adding, “interests of BEST passengers will also be kept in mind”.

Presently, the longest route in BEST’s operations is bus number 524. It runs from Borivli East to Vashi covering a distance of 44 km in about two hours. The fare for that route is Rs 22.




Sr.No. Department Public Information Officers Location & Tel.No. Appellate Authorities Location & Tel.No.
1 Personnel, Welfare  & Management Sr.Personnel Officer Head Office, Colaba,22839908 Chief Personnel Officer Head Office,Colaba,22816654
2 Secretarial including Marathi Vibhag, Correspondence & Typing Section Dy.Secretary Head Office, Colaba22856262 Ex.328 Secretary Head Office, Colaba,22028801
3 Security  & Vigilance Dy.Chief Security & Vigilance Officer(SR.) Head Office, Colaba,22822592 Chief Security & Vigilance Officer Head Office, Colaba,22885105
4 Public Relations Dy.Public Relations Officer Head Office, Colaba,22816656 Public Relations Officer Head Office, Colaba,22841255
5 Accounts including ESI, Budget, PF, Cash & Time Keeping Dy.Chief Accounts Officer(Sr.) Head Office, Colaba,22852463 Chief Accounts Officer &Financial Advisor Head Office, Colaba,22020846
6 Internal Audit Dy.Chief Internal Auditor Head Office, Colaba,22820011 Asst.General Manager(Audit) Head Office, Colaba,22816424
7 EDP Dy.Electronic Data Processing Manager Backbay Depot22189917  Electronic. Data Processing Manager Backbay Depot22183859 
8 Legal Legal Advisor Head Office, Colaba,22856262 Ext.453 Asst.General Manager (Legal) Head Office, Colaba,22844436
9 Materials Management including Grainshop Chief Materials Manager Kussara Workshop23719752  Asst.General Manager (Matl.) Head Office, Colaba,22841023
10 Civil Engineering including Bldg. & Sub Station Construction Chief Engineer (Civil) Wadala Depot24146800 Asst.General Manager (Civil) Head Office, Colaba,22840873
11 Medical Sr.Dy.Chief Medical Officer Head Office, Colaba,22841018 Chief Medical Officer Head Office, Colaba,22841018
12 Sr.AOES’s Office (Establishment matter of Electric Supply Branch) Admn.Officer (Electric Supply) Head Office, Colaba,22856262 Ext.560 Sr. Admn. Officer (Electric Supply) Head Office,Colaba22811506, 22856262 Ext.558
13 Vigilance Divisional Engineer (Vigilance). Head Office, Colaba,22814996 Asst.General Manager (Electric Supply) Head Office, Colaba22831950, 22856262 Ext.501,510
14 Planning (Network) Div. Engr. Planning(Network) Veej Bhavan, Nariman Point, Mumbai22880951, 22880950Ext.101 Dy.Chief Engr. (Planning) Veej Bhavan, Nariman Point, Mumbai22816247,
15 Planning (Material) Div.Engr. Planning (Material) Veej Bhavan, Nariman Point, Mumbai22811254,22844375, Ext.111  Dy.Chief Engr. (Planning) – “ –
16 Commercial(South) Div.Engr.(Commercial South) Head Office, Colaba22841071,22856262Ext.511  Dy.Chief Engr. (Commercial South) Head Office, Colaba22841675, 22856262 Ext.503
17 Commercial(N) Div.Engr.(Commercial North) Dadar Workshop,Tilak Road, Dadar,24120238 Dy.Chief Engr. (Comm.North) Dadar Workshop,Tilak Road, Dadar,24147270
18 Consumer(S) Supdt.Cons.South Head Office,Colaba,22840923,22856262 Ext.559 Dy.Chief Engr. (CommercialSouth) Head Office,Colaba,22841675,22856262 Ext.503
19 Consumer(N) Supdt.Cons.North Dadar Workshop,Tilak Road, Dadar,24183276 Dy.Chief Engr.(CommercialNorth) Dadar Workshop,Tilak Road, Dadar,24147270 
20 Computer Applications Supdt.Computer Application Veej Bhavan, Nariman Point, Mumbai22816250 Ext.302 Dy.Chief Engr. (Planning) Veej Bhavan, Nariman Point, Mumbai22816247
21 Project Div.Engineer (Project) Colaba Bus Station, Mumbai22181420,22856262Ext.538  Dy.Chief Engr. (Planning) – “ –
22 Construction Div. Engineer (Construction) Sewree Receiving Station, Acharya Donde Marg, Sewree, Mumbai-15,24165188,24162879  Dy.Chief Engr. (Dist.North) Bijlee Bhavan, Kussara Workshop, Mazgaon, Mumbai, 23782388 
23 Training & Industrial Engg. Div.Engr. Training & Industrial Engg. Club Road Bldg., Mumbai Central, Mumbai, 23097698, 23077698 Dy.Chief Engr. (Gen.) Vidyut Bldg., Pathakwadi,Opp.G.T. Hospital, Mumbai, 22084229, 22011827
24 Meters & Relays Div.Engr.Meters & Relays Wadala Depot, 2416491, 24186353 Ext.59024146262 Ext.571 Dy.Chief Engr. (Gen.) – “ –
25 Consumer Advisory & Services Supdt.Cons. Advisory & Services Vidyut Bldg., Pathakwadi, Opp. G.T. Hospital,22080274,22080558 Dy.Chief Engr. (Gen.) – “ –
26 Street Lighting Construction Div. Engr. Street Lighting (Const.) Sewree Receiving Station, Acharya Donde Marg, Sewree, Mumbai-15,24101791  Dy.Chief Engr. (Street Lighting) Sewree Receiving Station, Acharya Donde Marg, Sewree, Mumbai-15,24116023
27 Street Lighting Maintenance Div.Engr.Street Lighting (Main.) Beejli Bhavan, Kussara Workshop, Mazgaon,23781839, 23775544 Dy.Chief Engr. (Street Lighting) Sewree Receiving Stn., Acharya Donde Marg,  Mumbai-15,24116023
28 Material Testing & Standards Div.Engr. Matl.Testing & Standards Beejli Bhavan, Kussara Workshop, Mazgaon,23719753 Dy.Chief Engr. (Street Lighting) – “ –
29 Telecommunication & Electronics Div.Engr.Telecom. & Electronics Tardeo Bus Terminus, Mumbai-8, 23090036, 23052311 Dy.Chief Engr. (Street Lighting) – “ –
30 Operation & Maintenance (South) Div.Engr.(Maint.South) Colaba Bus Stn. Bldg., S.B. Road, Colaba, 22154428 Dy.Chief Engr. (Dist.South) Vidyut Bldg., Pathakwadi,Opp.G.T. Hospital, Mumbai, 22037418
31 Operation & Maintenance (North) Div.Engr.Main.(North) Wadala Depot, Tilak Road (Ext.), Mumbai, 24121740 Dy.Chief Engr. (Dist.North) Beejli Bhavan, Kussara Workshop, Mazgaon,23782388 
32 Operation & Maintenance (CS) Div.Engr.Maint.(Central South) Vidyut Bldg., Pathak Wadi, Opp.G.T. Hospital, Mumbai,22073875, 22078365, 22080524  Dy.Chief Engr. (Dist.South) Vidyut Bldg., Pathak Wadi,  Opp. G.T.Hospital, Mumbai,22037418
33 Operation & Maintenance (CN) Div.Engr.Maint.(Central North) Prabhadevi receiving station bldg, Worli2431488824226334 Dy.Chief Engr. (Dist.North) Beejli Bhavan, Kussara Workshop, Mazgaon,23782388 
34 Erection(S) Div.Engr.(Erection South) Beejli Bhavan, Kussara Workshop, Mazgaon,23736890 Dy.Chief Engr. (Dist.South) Vidyut Bldg., Pathakwadi,Opp.G.T. Hospital, Mumbai, 22037418
35 Erection(N) Div.Engr.(Erection North)

Beejli Bhavan, Kussara Workshop, Mazgaon,

2371975523711941 Ext 74123711942 / 43

Dy.Chief Engr.(Dist.North) Beejli Bhavan, Kussara Workshop, Mazgaon,23782388
36 Erection Central Div.Engr. (Erection Central)

Beejli Bhavan, Kussara Workshop, Mazgaon,

2373689023711943Ext 721

Dy.Chief Engr. (Dist.South) Vidyut Bldg., Pathakwadi,Opp.G.T. Hospital, Mumbai, 22037418
37 Energy Audit Div.Engr.(Energy Audit) Tardeo bus terminus R.S.Nimkar Marg, mumbai2396840, 2396840 Dy.Chief Engr. (Comm.South) Head Office, Colaba22841675, 22856262 Ext.503
38 Consumer Grievance & Redressal Forum Div.Engr.Cons.Grievance Redressal Forum Head Office,Colaba,22855962,22853561 Dy.Chief Engr. (MERC) Head Office,Colaba,22853483,22853561
39 Transportation Engg. & Ticket Printing Press Asst.General Manager (Transp.Engg.) Dadar Workshop, Tilak Road24101788 Dy.General Manager (Transp.Engg.) Head Office,Colaba,22850594,24130827
40 Traffic (including Ticket & Cash & Acc. & Claims) Chief Traffic Manager (Adm.) Wadala DepotTilak Road (Ext)24126345 Chief Traffic Manager (Sr.) Wadala DepotTilak Road (Ext.)24148675


Redressal Of Consumer Grievances



Brihan Mumbai Electric Supply & Transport Undertaking
(Of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai)

“Procedures for Redressal Of Consumer Grievences”



As per Section 3.3 of Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum & Ombudsman) Regulations, 2003 we are publishing herewith the draft rules and procedures for redressal of grievances which are made available to the public. We hereby invite comments from our consumers which could be submitted to Deputy Chief Engineer (General), MERC Cell, having his office at 1st floor, Vidyut Building, Pathakwadi, Mumbai 400 002 on or before 25th February, 2004 to enable us to finalise these rules and procedures considering the comments.


Procedure for redressal of consumer grievance is given below :


1.0 Supply Related Complaints. (24 Hrs Fuse Centres)


General Requirements :


For any supply related grievances like Fuse Blown (No Supply) / Burnt Meter / Shock / Fire / Building Collapse / Water Falling on service position / Voltage fluctuations etc, the consumers shall lodge the complaints in the respective Fuse Control Centres of their area. (List attached – Annexure A) by providing the following details.


1. Bill No./ Meter No./ Installation No – (Any one of )

2. Telephone no.(s),

3. Address and nearest landmark

4. Brief description of the complaint.


Procedure for Redressal :


a) After lodging the complaint, BEST’s Fuse-man will inspect the site and in most cases restore the supply. In case of faulty or burnt meter, he will consult the concerned officers and will replace the same either from local fuse centers or from a centralised location. The fuse-man will request the consumer to give an Undertaking on a form which is available with him agreeing to make the payment of burnt meter charges through the subsequent electricity bills and also for amendment of electricity bills if necessary.


b) In case of Shock / Fire / Building Collapse / Water Falling on service position, the supply to the entire building will be disconnected either by Fire Brigade or by BEST whoever is reaching the site first. The supply will be restored only after the installation is set right by the consumer through Licensed Electrical Contractor and permission from Electrical Inspector / Fire Brigade is submitted wherever necessary. 2.0 Billing Complaints :-

General Requirements :

For all billing complaints such as High Consumption, Stopped Meter, Change in Name and Address, Disconnection of meter of vacant premises, Reconnection of supply, Refund of Security Deposit etc, the consumer shall lodge the complaint with the Complaint Officer of the ward in respective areas. (List attached – Annexure A) by providing the following details :-



1. Bill No.

2. Telephone No.

3. Address

4. Details of the complaint


Procedure for Redressal :


a) On receipt of the complaint and its scrutiny, if it is found necessary, inspection and site testing of the meter will be carried out. If the meter is found to be stopped or defective, the meter will be replaced after obtaining Undertaking from the consumer, agreeing to pay the amended bills issued subsequently.

b) For Change of Name and correction in address, consumers will have to submit the duly completed Change of Name form along with prescribed fees, documentary evidence in the office. Necessary Security Deposit towards 3 months electricity consumption will also have to be paid. Changes will be made in the subsequent bills after due verification on site.

c) For refund of Security Deposit the consumer is required to surrender the original receipts duly discharged along with an application for refund. On receipt of the same, the consumer will be intimated by sending a postcard for collecting the cheque /cash.

3.0 Complaints about obtaining supply:


General Requirements :

For all complaints about obtaining supply in case of New Connections, Additional load, Shifting of service cable / meter, Reconnection / Disconnection, Temporary supply etc, the consumer shall lodge the complaint with the Complaint Officer of the ward in respective areas. (List attached – Annexure A) by providing the following details :-

1. Details of requisition no. and date

2. Description of the complaint


Procedure for Redressal :


a) Generally the electric supply will be connected within one month of the receipt of the completed application in normal circumstances in case of New Connection, Additional load, Reconnection, Temporary supply etc

b) The cases requiring extension of Distribution Mains, Laying of new service and Commissioning of new Sub Stations, the supply shall be provided immediately after obtaining statutory permissions and execution of the jobs.


4.0 General Complaints :


General Requirements :


For all the complaints of the consumers about other departments of BEST such as Vigilance Department, Operation & Maintenance Department, Erection Department, Street Lighting Department, Energy Audit Department etc, the consumer shall lodge the complaint with the Complaint Officer of the ward in respective areas. (List attached – Annexure A) by providing the following details :-



1. Name and address of complainant

2. Telephone No.

3. Description of the complaint

4. Bill No. / Installation No. / Meter No. – if any

Procedure for Redressal :


In case of complaints about theft of electric supply / tampering of meter and complaints related to other departments of BEST, the same will be forwarded by the Complaint Officer to the respective departments and the complainant will be informed accordingly.

5. Format and Time Schedule:

In order to expedite the disposal of complaint, the consumer shall lodge the complaint in the format enclosed in Annexure C and within one month of the cause of the complaint.


Note : The Consumer may contact the next higher authority (List attached – Annexure B) if they are not satisfied with their redressal of grievance.

List of Officers To Be Contacted – Annexure A

Authority to be contacted



South Zone

Colaba 2 218 4242 } }
  Fuse Blown, LT / HT Off Supply Pathakwadi 2 208 4242 } } Ground floor
        } Pathakwadi } Vidyut Bldg.,
        } 2 2086611 } Pathakwadi
    Tardeo 2 309 4242 } } Mumbai 2
    Masjid 2 347 4242 }  
  “No Supply” Complaints        

North Zone

Dadar 2 412 4242 } Dadar } Transportation Engr.
  Fuse Blown, LT / HT Off Supply     } 2 4128683 } Bldg., Tilak Rd, Dadar-14
    Worli 2 495 4242 } Worli } Worli Naka,
        } 2 4926611 } G.K. Kadam Marg,
    Suparibaug 2 411 4242 } } Worli, Mumbai 18
    Mahim 2 444 4242 } Mahim } Mahim Bus depot
2 For Supply Related Complaints Fuse Controller      
    at :      

South Zone

Colaba 2 218 4242 Supdt(IF) 1st Floor,
  Burnt Meter,Shock, Pathakwadi 2 208 4242 A,B& C wards Electric House,
  Fire,Building Collapse,Water     2 285 6262 Colaba -39
  Falling on Service Position     Extn. 514  
  Voltage Fluctitations etc. Tardeo 2 309 4242 A.E. (IF) 1st floor,
    Masjid 2 347 4242 D & E wards Mumbai Central
        2 301 6730 Depot, M-8

North Zone

Dadar 2 412 4242 A.E. (IF) } 2nd floor,
  Burnt Meter,Shock,     E, F/S & F/N } Transportation
  Fire,Building Collapse,Water     2 414 6262 } Engr.Bldg.,
  Falling on Service Position Worli 2 495 4242 Ext -515 } Tilak Rd.,
  Voltage Fluctitations etc.     A.E. (IF) } Dadar
    Suparibaug 2 411 4242 G/S, G/N } Mumbai 14
    Mahim 2 444 4242 Ext -515  

South Zone

Complaint Officer 2 285 6262 AE A &B Ground Floor, .
  High Consumption, Stopped Meter, A Ward Ext. 552 2 288 1483 Electric House,
  Change in Name / Address,       Colaba
  Refund of Security Deposit, Complaint Officer 2 285 6262 AE A &B Ground Floor, .
  Complaints of billing B Ward Ext. 551 2 288 1483 Electric House,
  under cycle 19 etc.       Colaba
    Complaint Officer 2 200 3579 DyE.Con 3rd Floor, Vidyut Bldg,
    Complaint Officer 2 309 3045 Supdt.Con D&E }
          Mumbai 14
    Complaint Officer 2 4146262 Supdt.Con 2nd floor, Trans.Engg.
    G/S Ward Ext.546 (F/S & G/S) Bldg., Tilak Rd., Dadar ,
        24183276 Mumbai 14
    Complaint Officer 2 4146262 DyE.Con 1st floor, Trans.Engg.
    G/N Ward Ext.555 Ext.548 Bldg., Tilak Rd., Dadar ,
          Mumbai 14
4 Complaints of Obtaining Supply        
  New Connections, Additional Load, A Ward Ext.516 2 281 1253 House, Colaba
  Shifting of service cable / meter        
  Reconnection / Disconnection Complaint Officer 2 285 6262 AE(B) 6th Floor, Multi
  Temporary Supply etc. B Ward Ext.526 2 281 1256 Storied Bldg., Colaba.
    Complaint Officer 2 201 1995 AE(C) 3rd Floor, Vidyut
    C Ward   2 307 8736 Bldg, PathakWadi
    Complaint Officer 2 300 3405 AE(D) 3rd Floor, New
  New Connections, Additional Load, E & F/S Ward Ext.512 E & F/S Tilak Rd., Dadar.Bldg.
  Shifting of service cable / meter     2 4124285 Mumbai 14
  Reconnection / Disconnection        
  Temporary Supply etc. Complaint Officer 2 4146262 AE (F / N) 2nd floor, Trans.Engg.

List of Officers To Be Contacted – Annexure B

Sr. Nature of Complaint Next Higher Authority to be contacted with Contact No. & Address
  Burnt Meter,Shock, Commercial (North)  
  Refund of Security Deposit, 2nd Floor, Transpor-  
4 Complaints of Obtaining Supply    
  New Connections, Additional Load, Commercial (South)  
  Shifting of service cable / meter 2 2841071  
  Reconnection / Disconnection 2 285 6262 Ext. 511  
  Temporary Supply etc. House, Colaba  
  New Connections, Additional Load, Commercial (North)  
  Shifting of service cable / meter 2 4120238  
  Reconnection / Disconnection 2 4146262 Ext.511  
  Temporary Supply etc. 2nd Floor, Transpor-  




To, Date:-






1) Consumer’s name :- __________________________________ Tel.No.________


2) Address (Electric Supply/Correspondence)


Room No.________ Floor No._________ Bldg. name _______________

Bldg. No. ___________ Road ______________ Mumbai ______________


3) Bill no. ___________________ Meter No.________4) Nearest St. Ltg. Pole no.____


5) Type of complaint pertaining to electric supply









(Attach separate sheet, if required )


Yours faithfully,

Encl:- 1) Electric bill






(Consumer’s name in Block letters)




NOMINATION :- (If the Consumer wants to nominate his representative to appear and

made submissions on his behalf before the BEST Undertaking the following declaration should be submitted. )


I/We the above named Consumer hereby nominate Shri./Smt. ____________________

who is not an Advocate and whose address is ________________________________


_____________ is my/our REPRESENTATIVE in the proceedings and confirm that any statement, acceptance or rejection made by him/her shall be binding on me/us. He/She has signed below in my presence.




(Signature of Representative)      (Signature of Consumer)

Bus Route Tracking System






Luggage fare will be equivalent to the corresponding Adult fares subject to the minimum luggage fare of Rs.4.00 and maximum luggage of Rs.15.00.


2) BLIND PERSONS :-  A flat fare of Rs. 1/- to totally blind persons, irrespective of the distance travelled.



The Nutrition surcharge is 10 paise on tickets up to Rs.2/- and 15 paise on tickets above Rs. 2/-.


4) As per Govt Notification, Home Dept. No. MVA-689/CT-988/TRA-2 dated 1st September 1989 “Where the place of boarding the stage carriage or the place of alighting from the stage carriage is not a stage point approved by the Regional Transport Authority concerned, the distance travelled shall for the purpose of charging the fares, be calculated from the immediately preceding stage point so approved or as the case may be the immediately succeeding stage point so approved”.


Clarification : Fares are charged not on the basis of distance from one stop to another stop but from one stage stop to another stage stop


Electric Supply

It has been already indicated that the erstwhile Bombay Electric Supply & Tramways Company started supplying electricity to the city in 1905. Until 1926, the Company had been generating its own electricity for distribution to its consumers. Later, the Tata Electric Companies started supplying electricity to the BEST.The Tata Electric Companies (The Andhra Valley Power Supply Co. The Tata Power Supply Co., The Tata Hydroelectric Power Supply Co.) generated electricity from their reservoirs at Bhira, Bhivpuri and Khopoli in the Western Ghats. A major portion of it was transmitted through 110,000 Volts overhead lines to their Receiving Stations at Dharavi and Parel. In these Receiving Stations the voltage used to be transformed to 22,000 and 6,600 volts for ease of distribution. The Tata Electric Companies provided, through their cables, electricity at requisite voltage to the industries and mills, the Railways, the Bombay Suburban Electric Supply Company and the BEST.

In 1947, when the Company was taken over by the Municipal Corporation, the Undertaking was buying electricity from Tatas at nine receiving points known as : Kussara, Mahim, Kingsway, Jamnadas, Suparibag, Lalbaug, Esplanade, Palton and Backbay. At all these points, except Kussara, Kingsway and Mahim, the supply was received at 6,600 Volts. The supply was received at 22,000 Volts and transformed through Tatas’ transformers to 5,500 Volts at Kussara and to 6,600 Volts at Kingsway and Mahim. From these receiving points the cable network carried power to 247 Substations situated in different areas of the city. With the help of transformers at these substations, the voltage was further transformed to 400/230 Volts, suitable for use in the factory, shop and home. It was made available to the consumers through a low voltage distribution network and service cables to individual buildings. The major portion of electricity distributed was at Alternating Current (A.C.). But, in some areas of South Bombay, particularly Fort, Kalbadevi and Girgaum, Direct Current (D.C.) was supplied at a voltage of 460/230 Volts. To convert it into D.C., Rotary Converters were operated at Pathakwadi, Telwadi, Apollo and Palton Road Substations and Mercury Arc Rectifiers were used at Phirozshah Mehta Road substation.


Soon after the Corporation took over the Company, India got its freedom. This meant a reconsideration of the major objectives of the Undertaking and a reorientation of its outlook in the context of the changing political situation. The Second World War had also given a new impetus to the utilisation of electricity.

The Undertaking not only continued many of the healthy traditions set by the Company but also improved its methods of working. The Undertaking is now well known in India for its service of providing electricity with minimum interruptions and at proper voltage, at the minimum cost. It is also known for the quick restoration of supply in the event of any faults developing in the distribution system.

In the fifty years since municipalisation, the maximum demand on the system has risen from 53,000 kilowatts to 6,33,000 kilowatts; the number of substations from 247 to about 1733; the length of underground cables from 1,263 kilometres to 6,966 kilometres; the number of consumers from 1,08,000 to 7,98,152; the number of street lamps from 2,215 to 33,534.

Refrigerators, air-conditioners, geysers, television sets and other electrical appliances are now being extensively used in homes. The use of air-conditioning and better standards of lighting in the office is also becoming increasingly popular. In the factories and entertainment centres the use of electricity is on the increase. Skyscrapers have come into being and so have hutments. All this expansion has necessitated the use of modern and sophisticated equipment. The responsibilities of the electric supply branch of the Undertaking have become correspondingly greater and more complex.


In the days of the BEST Company some parts of the network were supplied at 5,500 Volts and in some other areas the distribution voltage was 6,600 Volts. This non-uniformity led to considerable loss of flexibility. More important, it was realised that at the higher voltage of 6,600 voltage, 20 per cent more electricity could be conveyed and this without major replacement of equipment. So, after elaborate planning, in 1954, the 5,500 Volts system was changed over to 6,600 Volts. This major change was carried out with no interruptions in the supply to consumers.

In 1949 the Undertaking established its first 22000 volts receiving station at Grant Road. This was followed by 22,000 volts receiving station at Apollo. In 1955, two more receiving stations at Kingsway and Kussara were changed over 22,000 volts and all 6600 volts metering points were eliminated. As on today BEST has 35 receiving stations including two 110 KV receiving stations. The demands on the system were growing and further changes were necessary. Under an Agreement with Tatas in  1956, they established a third Receiving Station at Carnac Bunder. This new station and the existing 2 stations at Parel and Dharavi, now became the Undertaking’s only points of supply. The supply was now taken at these 3 points and metered at 22,000 Volts. The Undertaking laid 22 KV cables from these points to it own receiving stations, the voltage was stepped down from 22,000 volts to 6,600 volts through the Undertaking’s own transformers for feeding into its 6,600 Volts system. The elimination of the old 6,600 Volts Receiving Stations was spread over a period of years. It was changed over to 22,000 Volts as and when new Receiving Stations were built by the B.E.S.T. Thus in 1956, the Worli Receiving Station was established at Fergusson Road. This was followed by many Receiving Stations at various places.

To supply electricity at a steady voltage is an important responsibility of the Supply Branch. There are considerable variations in the voltage received from Tatas at the different Receiving Stations. To compensate for these fluctuations, the Undertaking installed, on its 22 KV transformers, equipment known as “On load tap changers”. This device absorbs the fluctuations and enables supply of a steady voltage to consumers.


It has already been mentioned that Direct Current electricity was supplied to the Girgaum, Kalbadevi and Fort areas in South Bombay. An appreciable portion of the electricity distributed in 1947 was accounted for by this. An alternating Current supply had many advantages over supply at Direct Current. It is more convenient and cheaper to transmit electricity at Alternative Current through smaller cables at a higher voltage than through larger cables at a lower voltage.

In 1952, there were 25,000 consumers using D.C. A change-over to A.C. meant changing their D.C. appliances where rotation was involved : appliances such as motors, fans, lifts, refrigerators. This presented a major problem. It required a considerable amount of special effort to persuade the D.C. consumers. As an inducement, they were offered partial compensation towards the cost of changing their appliances. The total compensation paid under the scheme was Rs.50 lakhs. But the expenditure was well worthwhile, as it enabled elimination of costly and wasteful equipment used for conversion from A.C. to D.C. As a result of persistent efforts, all the 25,000 consumers, except a hard core of 17, had changed over to A.C., by March 1972.


The Municipal Corporation had a contract with the Bombay Gas Company for gas lamps for street lighting. This contract was to expire in 1962. Until then, there were about 7500 electric lamps and 7000 gas lamps on the roads of Mumbai. The Municipal Corporation then decided to change over completely to electric street lamps and simultaneously to improve the level of illumination. A crash programme was taken in hand by the B.E.S.T. in 1966. When all the gas street lamps had been converted into electric lamps in July 1968, the number of electric street lamps had increased from 7500 to 19000. On 1st July 1968, Bombay wished a sentimental farewell to gas lamps when the Mayor switched on the “Queen’s New Necklace” on Marine Drive. This was a string of the lastest type of high power, coloured-corrected, mercury vapour lamps. Marine Drive is reputed to be the best-lit road in India and one of the best-lit in the world. It is one of the spots a visitor to Mumbai does not like to miss. Now with the introduction of sodium vapour lamps, it is called as ‘Golden Necklace’.


Initially, the Undertaking used to control each lamp separately by a switch, by a man going on his rounds every evening and morning to switch them on and off. This system had several disadvantages, especially in times of emergency. To provide central control points, it would be necessary to lay hundreds of kilometre of cables at enormous cost and dig up Mumbai’s roads to lay them. Other methods had therefore to be devised. One method was to install time-switches which automatically control the street lights, depending on the time of sunrise and sunset, but the use of this device is also limited. Another method tried is that which uses photo-electric switches. These contain devices which are sensitive to light. When the natural light on the road falls to a particular level, this device actuates a switch which puts on the street lamp. When the natural light improves to a particular level, the device switches off the lamp.


A ripple control scheme for controlling street lamps from one or two central points in the city was then considered. The ripple control equipment is installed at predetermined places in the electric supply network. The equipment sends out high frequency signals over the existing underground cables. These signals are picked up by a special device installed on each lamp or a group of lamps. Thus by pressing a button at central control points one can either switch off or switch on all the street lights in the city. But this scheme was costly and involved import of much of the equipment.; hence it was decided not to consider the scheme.

At present there are over 33,000 street lighting poles and most of them are on automatic control. The automatic control of street lighting poles has got two versions. out of 93 Street Lighting Poles used for remote control for street light poles, 53 are provided with masters/slaves arrangement for efficient controlling Remaining SLP’s are provided with time switch which will switch on/off street lights at the specified timing.

In future, we are exploring the concept of pagers system for quick and efficient operation of street light poles throughout Mumbai.

Sodium-vapour lamps made an appearance in the commercial areas of Mumbai in 1980. To save on fuel and, as an alternative, considering the rising cost of oil, mercury-vapour lamps were chosen for street-lighting. Fluorescent mercury vapour lights went up in large numbers in 1982. In 1990 came “Energy Efficient” lamps and “Energy Fluorescent” lamps followed them in 1993.

And the Electricity department does not work the magic only on the roads of Mumbai; Electricity is provided by the department for various public functions and religious celebrations. As many as twenty-five years ago, the department had made special arrangements for lighting at Girgaum Chowpatty, on the occasion of the immersion of the Ganesh idols. During the years the arrangements have kept improving.

And now the devotees of Lord Ganesh venturing some distance into the sea are helped by strong shafts of light.


Prior to the success in implementing effective remote control of street lights, the Undertaking had started controlling Receiving stations from two control points. There are now 35 receiving stations in the Undertaking where the voltage is stepped down from 110KV to 11 KV, 33 KV to 11 KV, 22 KV to 11KV and 22 KV to 6.6 KV.

On an average, each receiving station supplies power to 50 substations, feeding 21,000 consumers. The efficient operation of the equipment in these Receiving Stations is therefore vital, if the consumer is to receive reliable supply at a steady voltage.

With the help of this equipment we can control the circuit breakers, tap change control gear and the voltage. The Undertaking decided in 1966 to employ the Remote Control Scheme. It was possible to immediately implement this decision, because the control cables required for this purpose had already been laid. The manufacture of the equipment was entrusted to the Indian Telephone Industries at Bangalore. The two main control points are located at the Esplanade Receiving Station and the Kingsway Receiving Station from where all the Receiving Stations are monitored and controlled. The remote Control equipment was installed in 1970 at the ‘Vidyut’ Building near the Esplanade Receiving Station and at Kingsway in 1972.


The system provided by the Indian Telephone Industries was designed on electro-mechanical relay principle. Due to this it had limitations for the speed of operation. There was no data acquisition also. These factors forced the Undertaking to keep the system to a minimum level.

In 1980 BEST replaced the Supervisory Remote Control system with micro processor based Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA). Additional to SRC System SCADA functions are data acquisition, analysis and report generation.

The communication between the master control and receiving station is through underground communication cables.

To further improve the reliability and quick restoration of supply BEST is going in for microware wireless communication in the years to come. A very-high frequency radio link which was established in 1963 for quick communications is now getting outdated. This is being replaced by microwave system and cellular phones.

With the installation of this equipment, the restoration of supply when a fault develops in a system has become much more efficient and quicker. When a fault occurs in the system, a message is registered on the indicators at the central points. With the help of the links the operator at the control points can direct the field staff to quickly reach the places where the faults have occured and restore supply with the minimum delay.


Shortages are caused when the supply does not keep pace with the demand. But in spite of whatever the Undertaking might do to expand its distribution system well ahead of the demand, it has ultimately to depend on the supply from Tatas. In the early fifties for three consecutive years the monsoon had failed. The low water levels in Tata’s reservoirs, which are a source of power supply to Mumbai, had created a severe power shortage in the area. It became necessary to make alternative  arrangements. Many industrial installations in the city had generators of their own to serve as a stand-by. These private owners were asked to operate their generators for their own requirements. The power thus released was utilised to serve the other consumers. This scheme came to be know as the Power Pool Scheme. The Undertaking had taken a lead and played an important role in implementing this Scheme not only in Mumbai city but also in the entire State. Later the installation of more efficient generators in the Railways’ generating station at Chola and a new generating station installed at Trombay by Tatas, considerably improved the position, and in 1961 the Power Pool Scheme was discontinued.


In the old days when plenty of space was available, nobody had perhaps ever heard the words ‘Underground Substation’ and ‘Package Type Substation’. Due to the tremendous increase in the demand for electricity in all parts of the city, the need for Substations has been increasing. The procurement of sites for Substations, especially in the congested areas in the city, presents many serious problems. In the rural areas it is customary to have pole-mounted substations. Owing to the tall buildings around, the erection of such substations is dangerous in the city. Moreover, nobody would like the idea of building such pole-mounted Substations in a city like Mumbai, from the aesthetic point of view. In 1964, on an experimental basis, 5 vault-type transformers were imported. Our experience of them, since their installation in 1967 was not encouraging.

The population of Mumbai has been growing at a fast pace. Every day, hordes of people come to the city and the city accomodates them. Problems too have been growing fast; Slums, without the basic facilities, have been coming up alongside roads. In many cases, the slums have crossed the footpath to the bus-shelter. On the one hand, there is the lovingly nursed dream of a clean and beautiful Mumbai and on the other the depressing reality of a slum. On one side there is the slogan of a green Mumbai and on the other the sad sight of a footpath swallowed up by an ugly slum. When will this stop? The question has to wait for an answer. A voice is sometimes raised against this by the white-collared gentry. Efforts are made now and then to pull down or push back the ramshackle huts. But soon enough they re-appear on the same spots. As time passes, the huts come to be regularised and the Electric Supply branch had to install a separate meter for every hut. Now the paths snaking through the huts have their lighting like the huts themselves. The sensible Mumbaites have accomodated these huts too.

During last some years more and more of Sky scrapers have been going up – and up! The sea has literally been pushed back in several places to make room for some of them. The Cuffe Parade, Nariman Point and the Backbay Reclamation areas are now virtually cement jungles. To provide electricity to these sky scrapers and this ever-widening expanse, is not a simple job. There are the new buildings and the new technology : T.V. Sets, Video and Audio Sets, mainly to entertain and the washing machine and air-conditioning to make life easier. And a variety of machines, small and big, are coming into use on a larger and larger scale. And the computer age is upon us. Naturally, the demand for electricity has rocketed; the demand from sky-scrapers particularly for computers and air-conditioners. The demand for commercial use of electricity, too, has been growing fast.

The height of buildings creates several problems in reaching electricity to them. Therefore, the need for a high pressure electricity set-up. One such set-up required for a Sky scraper is adequate for 400 residential and office buildings.

At present, the Undertaking buys its electricity from the Tata Electric Company. But if it produces its own electricity it will be more convenient, and will also effect a large saving. Its production cost will be less and the consumers demand can be met better. For this purpose the Undertaking is launching its own generation programme in the near future.

The BEST was the first organization in India to supply electricity through underground cables – and that too using the latest technology. Since 1989, the voltage of its receiving stations has been increased from 22KV to 33KV. Not only that, it built at Nariman Point that very year a receiving station of the capacity of 110 KV. In this country such a sub-station is normally outside a building and also far from a residential zone. This one is within a building. And, except for the lower floors, this building is used for private establishment. Most people working every day on the upper floors are probably not aware that below them is a power-station of the capacity of 110 KV. In 1993 the Undertaking also set up a receiving station of 110 KV at Khetwadi. This one also is inside a building.


Switch-gears : It has already been stated that the Undertaking has been in the forefront in using the latest technology in the system of electric supply. At present the Undertaking uses switch-gears of various types and using various technologies. For example, airblast, minimum oil circuit breakers, SF-6 circuit-breakers, Vacuum circuit-breakers and gas-insulated circuit-breakers. These circuit-breakers, being of the latest type, do not need supervision.

As these switch-gears occupy less space, it is possible to set them up where otherwise enough space is not available. Thus, the use of these gears has been quite profitable to the Undertaking.

Cables and their Testing : The BEST has the largest underground cable distribution system. As a matter of fact, compared to the ‘overhead’ system, the method of carrying electricity through underground cable is far more costly. But considering the congested housing and the crowded roads of Mumbai the ‘overhead’ system would be unthinkable. So, although the underground system is costly, from the viewpoint of reliability and safety, it is advantageous.

Later, the Undertaking started using upto-date technology in the cable and jointing system. There was a shortage of the copper used in the cables. The government brought control on the use of copper. Finally, as an alternative, aluminium cables were brought into use. Then came “PVC”. For high-power transmission, XLPE cable was brought into use in 1982.

The short-circuit test was employed on the underground cables. The BEST was the leading organization in testing low-pressure cables. Till 1980, high-voltage cables were tested by the “Bridge Method”. During 1980 for the testing of high-voltage cables BIECCO surge generators were purchased. And in 1990, the Undertaking got a “testing van”. equipped with full apparatus. This van is able to detect the faults in both high-voltage and low-voltage cables. This van was bought although it costs a great deal. Its main advantage is that by removing the faults in an electrical set-up in the minimum time, it enables the undertaking to provide good, dependable and prompt service to the consumers. The undertaking is using four of such “Testing Vans” at present.

Communication and Monitoring Systems : BEST is the first electric supply organization to start VHF communication and that it did in 1960. For the messages to be delivered promptly, the wireless message system was started in 1963. It has now become a simple operation to restore the electric supply by detecting the defects by going to the spot quickly in a mobile van.

For the efficient operations during the year 1967, the area was bifurcated into North and South. In 1991, the department concerned with the operations and maintenance activities was again bifurcated into four zones namely North, Central North, South and Central South. If there was any fault in the machinery, in order to spot it and to take prompt action to correct it, a “supervisory remote control” of the most modern kind was set up.

Meters and Relays : Over the years, changes have been taking place in the electric meters used. The old type of meters did not prove as efficient as they might have. Therefore, in 1994, the electricity section brought into use “electronic meters” and ‘solid state relays’. As recently as 1995, with the help of modern technology and computers, the Undertaking proposes to launch the “remote metering system”.

Computerisation in the Electricity Supply Departments : The computer is now used in a big way in the BEST Undertaking. Of, course, computerization has assumed importance in all areas of activity. Even then, it must be stated, the BEST was the first organisation in the country to issue electricity bills to consumers through the computer and also use it on a large scale. The computerised billing has been going on since 1974 and within a fixed period the bills are delivered to the consumers at their houses, unerringly. In 1988 began the use of the Personal Computer in the department. As a result the work of the Department has been going on even more efficiently. It is easier than ever now to provide prompt service to the consumers. Consumers complaints are settled without delay giving them full satisfaction.

The computer gets you the details you want in a few moments. For example, the consumer’s name, address, meter number, system number, the use to which the electricity is put – whether domestic, commercial or industrial- the pressure, the capacity of the cable etc. You don’t have to go looking for the statistics or record.

The most important stage in the development of computerization of the Electricity Supply Department is the “digitizing” with the topographical map of the entire cable network.

Once the ‘digitizing’ with the topographical map of the cable network is accomplished, there will be complete change from A to Z, one might say, in the methods of operation of the Department.

Research, development and planning have been an integral part of the supply system from the beginning. Studies are continuously undertaken to see how the new advances in the science of electro-technology can be utilised and adapted to meet the constantly increasing needs of the electricity consumer in Mumbai.

Transport Engineering

The origins of the Kingsway Workshop go back to the Colaba Causeway workshop of the Bombay Tramways Company as it then was. The workshop was opened there in 1886. People living in the surrounding area complained of nuisance from the workshop in 1910 and the Company (by now the B.E.S.T. Company) decided to shift the workshop to a convenient spot in the north of the city. Accordingly, in June 1915 land was acquired from the Improvement Trust at Kingsway, between Dadar and Matunga, on a 999-year lease. A workshop was soon erected on the plot.The workshop undertook the repairs of both the coachwork and the electrical machinery of trams. It was equipped with all the necessary machines, such as a heavy-duty shaping machine, a tyre-cutting lathe, a tyre-heating furnace, an armature-winding plant, a coil-testing machine, etc. The work was carried out in sections such as the truck shop, the paint shop, the machine shop, etc.

When bus services were introduced in 1926, a bus workshop was opened in Colaba. Transportation engineering was now divided into separate sections for trams and buses. When the Colaba workshop began to prove inadequate to the needs of buses, another bus workshop was opened at Dadar near the tram workshop. This workshop had various sections for repairs to chassis (base-frame, engine and wheels), body and ancillaries, and seats and windows, a paint shop, a machine stop, an electrical section, a unit section, calibration and lubrication, a tyre section, etc.

After  1947, the workshop space was found to be inadequate with the expansion of the bus service. In 1950, further land was acquired next to the Kingsway Tram Workshop and the new Workshop was planned to maintain a fleet of 600 buses.

When trams were abolished in 1964, the tram sheds in the Kingsway Workshop were taken over for the expansion of the Bus Workshop. This was a useful temporary expedient; but these sheds had been specially designed for trams and did not permit a scientifically planned expansion of the Bus workshop.


When the trams were abolished, the tram and bus workshops were merged. The pits in the tram sheds (for under carriage repairs) were filled in and levelled and the space was allotted to bus body repair sections. Machines no longer useful were sold. Some of the tram workshop staff were redundant under the new arrangement and under the regulations, could have been retrenched on payment of compensation. They were, however, suitably re-trained and absorbed in the bus workshop.

The rearrangements at unifaction were carried out as methodically as possible. The space needed for each section was calculated as for an assumed fleet of 1500 buses. The layout of the Shops was arranged, so as to avoid unnecessary movement of materials. The work of shifting of machinery and equipment and merging of shops was carried out without affecting the daily production.

At the time the Municipality took over the B.E.S.T. Company, double decker buses constituted 65 to 70 per cent of the fleet, the rest were single deckers. Economically, this was a sound proportion.

The chassis (and spare parts of the chassis) of D.D. buses were imported from England. However, in 1961, the Government of India laid down restrictions on the import of D.D. chassis, as it was proposed to manufacture the chassis in India. the import of spare parts was also severely restricted.

The Undertaking’s buses were in a grave state at this period. Most were old. New chassis were not available. The fleet utilization was 81 per cent. i.e. out of every 100 vehicles only 81 were available for actual service; the other 19 were in the workshop awaiting repairs. Shortage of spares delayed their repair. In the circumstances, two alternatives were open : one, to purchase the uneconomic single-deckers, for they were being manufactured in India; the other, to strive for self-sufficiency by repairing the existing double-deckers with maximum efficiency and putting them on the road again.

Transportation Engineering accepted the challenge and started methodical work. About 50 vehicles in the available fleet were temporarily withdrawn from service and brought into the workshop. Their units were dismantled and the parts were thoroughly inspected for the degree of wear and tear. Then they were sorted into reparable and condemned.

Inquiries were set on foot about the possibilities of having replacements for the condemned parts manufactured in the country. Indian manufacturers were induced to undertake the manufacture of parts which were needed on a large scale, such as pistons rings, valve guides, rocker shafts, main and big-end bearings for Gardener engines. etc.

The same solution could not be adopted for parts which were not needed in large quantities. Attempts were made to repair them in the workshop. With processes such as welding and metal-spraying, sleeving, metal-stitching, such parts as valves, crank-shafts, master-cylinders, wheel-cylinders, tappets, flywheel housings, cam-shafts, etc., were given a new lease of life.

Until the B.E.S.T. Company was taken over by the Municipality, only the Colaba Depot was available for the maintenance of buses and minor repairs. As the fleet grew, the need for more depots was felt. In 1961 the fleet comprised 1045 buses in all. Six new depots were constructed for their maintenance. The Wadala Depot was equipped for the maintenance of 300 buses. At this time it was the largest depot in Asia. After this, taking long maintenance experience into account, the authorities decided that no depot should be called on to look after more than 125 to 150 buses. Accordingly, small depots were built at convenient spots in the city and its suburbs.

Standardization of Bus Construction : From an engineering point of view, a bus has two main components : the body or coachwork and chassis (together with the engine and the transmission) on which the body is built. Both were standardized as far as possible.

In the period upto 1960 different manufacturers built varying bus-bodies. Some bus-bodies were of composite type and some were built of steel and aluminium. These variations proved troublesome and costly in maintenance. A decision to have complete metal bodies was taken and brought into effect from 1962. Another early step was to standarize the various fitments on bus-bodies.

In 1967, with a view to standardizing bus construction, buses were classified into three types. Type A comprised single deckers, steel-built throughout. Type B comprised double – deckers, also steel-built throughout. Type C included both single deckers and double-deckers and used both steel and aluminium in their construction.

Manufacturers build these types of buses in conformity with special designs prepared by the Transportation Engineering Department. The demands of city transport are different in some respects from those of other transport. In the city gear-changes are far more frequent and brakes must be extremely efficient. A large diesel tank is required; medium horse-power is adequate for the engine. Transportation Engineering takes all these requirements into account in designing a chassis to suit the special needs of city traffic. Efforts are being made to improve the bus-bodies and make them better looking.