Mumbai, Nov 3 (PTI) Maharashtra transport minister Anil Parab on Wednesday said a discussion on the demand for merger of transport undertaking MSRTC with the state government and other issues related to the loss-making corporation will take place after Diwali.
Parab gave the assurance after a meeting with Pravin Darekar, the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, at the former's official residence in South Mumbai, according to a release issued by the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC).
During the meeting, the Shiv Sena minister and Darekar, a BJP leader, had a positive discussion on issues related to MSRTC employees, a section of which has been skipping duty for more than a week in support of their demands, the release stated.
A section of MSRTC employees is on an unannounced strike since October 28 seeking merger of the cash-strapped corporation with the state government, according to union sources.
Last week, MSRTC employees started a "spontaneous" agitation over their various demands, including those related to salary. A majority of them returned to work after the state government accepted most of their demands, but the issue of merger remains unresolved.
The sources said nearly 35 of the 250 MSRTC depots, mainly in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions, are shut for nearly a week, causing inconvenience to passengers, besides daily financial losses to the corporation.
In the meeting, Parab, who is also MSRTC chairman, told Darekar that earlier, the corporation had tried to pay full salaries of its employees by taking financial help from the government from time to time.
Also, MSRTC employees were given 28 per cent dearness allowance and HRA like government state staffers, along with annual Diwali gift, the minister said.
"Till date, no action has been taken against any employee taking part in the unannounced strike," Parab said and appealed to the agitating staffers to return to work.
The MSRTC is one of the biggest state transport corporations in the county with a fleet of more than 16,000 buses and around 93,000 employees, including drivers and conductors.
The corporation used to ferry over 65 lakh passengers daily before the coronavirus outbreak last year. PTI KK RSY RSY
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