BEST issues ‘blacklisting’ notice to Causis firm over non-supply of 700 double decker e-buses

Source : PTI | The civic-run Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking on Monday served a “blacklisting” notice to private firm Causis E-Mobility for its alleged failure to supply 700 electric double decker buses as per a contract awarded to it, a senior official said. BEST general manager Vjay Singhal told reporters the premier public transport undertaking had awarded tender for supply of 900 double-decker electric buses to two firms, of which Causis E-Mobility was to provide 700.

“Causis has neither supplied buses or the prototype as per the contract. Hence, a blacklisting notice has been served to the company today. Legal action is also being planned,” he said.

BEST will issue a fresh tender for supply of 700 double decker buses and will also urge the government to recover the difference from Causis if the rates quoted are higher than the one at which it was given the contract.

“I don’t know why the blacklisting notice was not issued earlier. It should have been issued much earlier. Nevertheless, we have issued it now,” Singhal said.

The BEST GM also said he had called a meeting of officials of Switch Mobility, which has to supply 200 buses on wet lease, at his office on Tuesday.

The firm had supplied only 12 of these 200 double decker e-buses, he claimed.

Pointing out that the fleet size of BEST had gone down “beyond imagination”, Singhal said it will start getting new Olectra-make single decker AC electric buses from August -September and the company has assured to deliver all 2,100 buses by March end.

“Once, we had 4000 plus buses in the fleet, and now we have 3100-odd buses,” Singhal said, adding that BEST should have invited more small tenders for buses instead of waiting for court order.

If this was done, some 400-500 buses would have joined the fleet by now, he said, adding that the undertaking needs 5500-6000 vehicles considering the size and population of Mumbai.

BEST is the second largest public transporter in Mumbai and the adjoining metropolitan area after the suburban railway network and ferries around 30 lakh commuters per day.

In a release in October, 2021, Causis had said it had secured an order to supply 700 buses, the initial lot of which would be brought from its Jaipur plant.

The remaining buses would be manufactured at a plant it would set up in Pune, the release had said.

Causis officials could not be contacted for comment on the blacklisting notice.