Politicos skip meet held to resolve BEST workers’ dikat
Only four of the 17 committee members were present on Friday at the BEST committee meeting called to discuss the issues for which the BEST workers have been on strike since four days. The strike has affected nearly 30 lakh citizens.
The scheduled discussion had to be called off despite the fact that buses have been off roads for the last three days, and the maintenance of electric supply to around ten lakh consumers in south Mumbai is at stake. The members who attended the meeting included Shiv Sena’s Ashish Chemburkar followed by Ravi Raja of the Congress, BJP’S Sunil Ganacharya, and Srikant Kawathankar.
The BEST committee was scheduled to discuss the demands of the administration including salary hike and the merger of budget with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). At least seven members are required to be present at the meeting.
Ravi Raja, the Leader of Opposition in the BMC, along with BEST committee members had on January 10 written to Chemburkar saying that due to laxity on the part of the BEST administration, the meeting on Friday should be postponed in protest.
However, committee member Sunil Ganacharya wrote to the administration on January 3, almost four days before the strike, requesting a discussion. Ganacharya had also suggested writing to the state government for further support.
A senior BEST official said, “We should question the BEST committee who were absent at the meeting. It was due to their absence that we could not discuss the possible solutions to restart the BEST bus services.”
BEST bus employees on strike outside Anik bus depot on Friday.