Mumbai: The Bombay High Court Tuesday asked all the stakeholders to come to a conclusion regarding the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply & Transport (BEST) bus strike and inform the court by 11 AM Wednesday morning. The BEST lawyer had told the court that BEST is ready to give 10-step increment to employees which will be implemented from February 2019.
The development came close on the heels of the BEST bus strike entering the eighth day as the workers’ union and authorities of the state government and BEST failed to break the deadlock. A bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice NM Jamdar had on Monday underlined that “things cannot continue as they are”.
The HC had on Monday ordered the high-level committee, constituted by the government, to submit a report before the court clarifying its views on some of the urgent demands made by the union. The bench has been appealing to the union, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the Maharashtra government and BEST undertaking to solve the matter in a “congenial environment”.
Lawyer Datta Mane had filed a PIL last week, urging the HC to pass interim orders directing BEST workers to withdraw the strike immediately.
More than 32,000 employees of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) are on strike since January 8 and 3,700 buses are off the roads, leaving lakhs of people taking the public transport in trouble. Workers who are on strike have been seeking higher salaries and calling for the merger of the budgets of the BEST and BMC among other issues.
BEST is likely to incur a loss of around Rs 3 crore in daily earnings from the sale of tickets if the employees decide to go ahead with their indefinite strike from Monday midnight.