The BEST bus strike in Mumbai , which is now on 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.