The indefinite strike called by employees of the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) in Mumbai entered the seventh day on Monday. With no end in sight to the stalemate in talks between the BEST employees and the government, over 3,000 BEST buses are off the roads and people are facing difficulty in commuting in the country's financial and entertainment hub.
Mumbai's civic transport provider with a workforce of 32,000 people have been demanding the merger of BEST budget with "A" budget of the BMC. They also want clarity on recruitment and higher pay. When the talks with the authorities failed, the employees went on strike.
Some BEST employees say the strike is affecting both workers and commuters, but they will still carry on the strike with their demand.
"This strike is posing a lot of problems for us to run a household. The state government must intervene and find out a solution on the same. We are getting less salary than the average," said Pramod Arjun Yadav, a conductor in BEST.
"The administration is not paying our salaries on time. It's because of corruption. Some of us have not even received the refunds for our bills. We will keep sitting on strike until our demands are met," another employee said.
Due to the ongoing strike, people in Mumbai have to pay higher fares as they now have to depend on cabs and autorickshaws. The fares in areas like Churchgate, Lower Parel, BKC, Andheri and Goregaon are higher.
BEST has a fleet size of as 3,200 buses. It is the second-largest transport system in the metropolis after local trains, which ferry more than 70 lakh commuters daily basis.
(With inputs from ANI)