Today is the fourth day of Mumbai BEST bus strike. Over 32,000 employees of Mumbai’s civic transport undertaking went on an indefinite strike on Tuesday over various demands, including higher salaries, prompting the state government to invoke the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA) against them.
Lakhs of passengers were inconvenienced and complained that auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers were charging much more than normal rates. Some commuters also appealed to the Maharashtra government to take necessary steps to end the protest.
All eyes are now on the Public Interest Litigation (PIL). Today, the Bombay High court is scheduled to hear the PIL.
On Thursday, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, whose party controls the BMC, the parent body of BEST, had a discussion with BEST union leaders but no solution came out. Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta and BEST general manager Surendra Kumar were also present there.
Nearly 32,000 BEST employees are on an indefinite strike since Tuesday over various demands. Officials said that both Western and Central Railways giving extra service and several MSRTC buses were also placed in the metropolis for the convenience of the commuters.
The state government has already invoked the MESMA against the striking BEST employees but that did not work as the workers are still on their strike.
The workers complained that they yet have not received their salaries for the month of December.
Rajaram Satpute, a daily commuter from Kurla to Mahul, said, “I have been living in Mumbai for the past 40 years and I have never seen such a long BEST strike.”