Long­est-ever BEST strike goes on

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - DNA Cor­re­spon­dent

Mumbai: The BEST bus strike, which is now in its sixth day, will con­tinue in­def­i­nitely as talks fail be­tween the em­ployee union and the high pow­ered com­mit­tee ap­pointed by the Bom­bay High Court.

The com­mit­tee, com­pris­ing Chief Sec­re­tary DK Jain, Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary (Trans­port) Ashish Singh and Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary (Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment) Man­isha Mhaiskar – met with of­fi­cials from BMC and BEST, and union leader Shashank Rao on Satur­day, but no solutions emerged. “We ex­plained the gen­uine­ness of our is­sues in the hour-long meet­ing. As of now, the strike con­tin­ues,” said Rao.

Sources say that BMC told the com­mit­tee that if all of the union’s de­mands were met, it would bear the fi­nan­cial bur­den of Rs 550 crore. “The com­mit­tee is likely to sub­mit de­tails of the pro­posed res­o­lu­tions to Chief Min­is­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis for the fi­nal decision,” said a source who was present in the meet­ing. “On Mon­day, the panel will present its view in court and fur­ther de­ci­sions will be taken as per the court direc­tion.”

As the BMC and BEST are con­trolled by the Shiv Sena, the BJP-led State gov­ern­ment is keep­ing its dis­tance from the cri­sis. None of the 3,337 BEST buses plied on Satur­day and the elec­tric sup­ply divi­sion saw an at­ten­dance of 53 per cent. Au­thor­i­ties ran 227 pri­vate buses to fa­cil­i­tate com­muters.

Mean­while, cit­i­zens fo­rum ‘Aam­chi Mumbai, Aam­chi BEST’ sup­ported the strike with a peace­ful march.

ST buses out­side CSMT as BEST em­ploy­ees strike for 5th day

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