The latest statistics released by BEST show that in 2020, BEST employees recovered a total 798 mobile phones from the buses. “Of the total phones recovered, 340 mobiles have been claimed by the commuters who owned them while 458 phones are still lying in the BEST Lost & Found department,” said BEST spokesperson Manoj Varade.
He has appealed to citizens to come forward with a valid proof and claim the devices, else, it could go for auction.
As per the BEST data, in April 2020, not a single phone was claimed by the owners. At the same time, a month later, in May 2020, all the nine mobile phones recovered from the buses were claimed.
The highest recovery was made during January 2020 (99 phones), while the lowest was recorded during May 2020 (9 phones), Varade said. While honest conductors will be given rewards by the department, the BEST also plans to soon auction some of the phones if the owners don’t turn up.
Mobile phones come second in the top 10 list of lost items in red buses every month. While cash is still the number one missing item, other missing articles included jewellery, sunglasses, books, medicines, umbrellas and also TV and laptop computers.
In the previously shared statistics by BEST for 2019-20, the conductors had found 72 gold and diamond lockets and rings, currency notes worth a million rupees. In fact, during the past nine years, the records show that more than Rs 1.3 crore were left behind by passengers in the red buses. Most of these notes were of Rs 100 denomination, the sources said.
People even leave behind their bags containing rice, sugar, oil and many have forgotten to take the chocolates they were carrying. In a few cases, the BEST staffers came across home-cooked food/tiffin. Many times, the tiffin box left behind in the bus left conductors baffled and they called in the cops to ensure that it was not a “bomb”.