Several PCOs removed from BEST buses

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Mumbai, Jun 9 (UNI) Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking has removed several PCOs, those installed in year 2006, from the buses at the time when they are needed the most.

BEST had installed Hutch (now Vodafone) and Tata Indicom PCOs in the buses after the city received heavy rains in 2005 causing problems to people who were stranded in buses and other vehicles.

The phones were installed to enable the passengers to be in touch with their family members at any time.

However, it was noticed that the phones were sparingly used by the commuters and the response was lower than expected. The Undertaking and the telephone companies decided to slowly phase out the phones.

BEST committee member Mohsin Haider said, ''The phones were not used by the commuters and the maintenance was proving to be difficult for the telephone companies and BEST.'' However, he defended, ''It is the wrong time remove the phones at the time of monsoon when people need the service the most. The telephone companies and the Undertaking could have taken the loses for public interest.'' An official from Vodafone said, ''The phones have been phased out in the routes in which the passengers did not use the phones but are present in the routes where they are used.'' An official from the BEST parroted the views of the telecom company and added ''Irrespective of mobile phones holder, people are still using the PCOs.'' The telecom companies had installed around 2,230 phones in 3,500 BEST buses.

UNI JN GR SM1424

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