A long time ago, in this very thread, I posted this bit
about Mumbai's decision to go in for PRC buses when everyone else was going in for better/proven models by others.
Strangely, Mumbai's infra elements seem to keep coming out of China. First, BEST decided to go in for King Longs (badged Cerita) when everyone and his uncle was buying Tata-Marcopolo, AL and (India-built/assembled) Volvo B7RLEs. Heck, even private operators down south have given up on King Longs, so the decision was a bit baffling. At least NMMT went the Volvo way thankfully.
Mumbai's metro rolling stock too is coming out of China now instead of BEML or (again Indian-built/assembled) Bombardier ones.
BTW Reliance's reliance on Chinese stuff can be seen across the board. Chinese equipment for power generation, EPC, telecom equipment and now Metro Rail rakes. Apparently they are the single largest importer of Chinese made power equipment in India.
ADAG's 'success' seems to be built on Chinese made goods nowadays.
And now comes the news that BEST is having a load of trouble with its Chinese bus fleet. BEST unhappy with its 248 Kinglong buses
The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking seems to be regretting spending more than Rs 200 crore on China-made air-conditioned Kinglong buses. Members of the BEST committee, during their fortnightly meeting on Thursday, discussed how commuters had complained that these
purple buses were breaking down frequently.
There are 284 Kinglong buses in the BEST’s total fleet of 4,700. They were among the 1,000 buses the BEST bought under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
“We have received complaints that the driver of these buses halt before the start of the flyover and asks commuters to get down,” said Dilip Patel, a member of the BEST committee. Sunil Ganacharya, another member of the BEST committee, said, “Commuters say they are often asked to push the bus up flyovers.”
There have also been cases of Kinglong buses catching fire or experiencing engine failures or problems with the radiator or clutch, BEST sources said.
Is it time to say we told you so? Thankfully BEST seems to have learnt from its mistakes and the recent addition of Volvo 8400s to the fleet seems to be the final nail in the coffin for the KLs there. Good riddance.