BEST Update: Sena backed union withdraws strike, railways runs extra services

BEST Update: Sena backed union withdraws strike, railways runs extra services
Shiv Sena-backed BEST Kamgar Sangathana has withdrawn from the strike and its leaders are scheduled to hold talks with the administration later today (Representational Image, Courtesy: Akhilesh Pandey)

BEST workers continued to strike for the second day on Wednesday, leaving the transport body’s 25 lakh plus daily commuters to fend for alternate means of travel.

Major Updates

Sena union withdraws strike:

Workers affiliated the Shiv Sena-backed BEST Kamgar Sangathana have ended the strike after an assurance from the management, while those associated with BEST Workers’ Union led by Shashank Rao have refused to budge.

Around 13,000 BEST workers are affiliated with Rao’s union. Sena, meanwhile, is the single largest party in the BMC, under which the BEST falls.

Since barely any drivers and conductors reported for duty, a negligible number of services ran today. However, the situation is expected to improve from tomorrow when buses will leave depots under police security in wake of the divide between unions.

Administration threatens striking workers with arrest:

BEST general manager Surendrakumar Bagde has warned of stringent action against striking workers under the provisions of MESMA (Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act).

The act has provisions for the arrest of union leaders instigating an illegal strike.

Meanwhile, the administration has summoned leaders from the Shiv Sena union for talks at BEST headquarters today after the former withdrew support from the strike.

Extra suburban services:

Like yesterday, the suburban divisions of both Western and Central railway will be running extra services today. Details of the services are given below:

WR:

1. Churchgate (departure 12:45 pm) to Borivali (arrival 1:35 pm) [Fast]
2. Borivali (departure 1:51 pm) to Churchgate (arrival 2:30 pm) [Fast]

3. Churchgate (departure 12:19 pm) to Goregaon (arrival 1:55 pm) [Fast]
4. Goregaon (departure 1:20 pm) to Churchgate (arrival 2 pm) [Fast]

5. Churchgate (departure 1:05 pm) to Andheri (arrival 1:48 pm) [Slow]
6. Andheri (departure 1:54 pm) to Churchgate (arrival 2:40 pm) [Slow]

7. Churchgate (departure 2:10 pm) to Bandra (arrival 2:40 pm) [Slow]
8. Bandra (departure 2:52 pm) to Churchgate (arrival 3:22 pm) [Slow]

9. Churchgate (departure 2:35 pm) to Andheri (arrival 3:08 pm) [Slow]
10. Andheri (departure 3:18 pm) to Churchgate (arrival 4:01 pm) [Slow]

11. Churchgate (departure 3:13 pm) to Goregaon (arrival 4:05 pm) [Slow]
12. Goregaon (departure 4:12 pm) to Churchgate (arrival 5:13 pm) [Slow]

CR:

1. Thane (departure 1:44 pm) to CSMT (arrival 2:40 pm) [Slow]
2. CSMT (departure 2:49 pm) to Thane (arrival 4:15 pm) [Slow]

3. Vashi (departure 1:44 pm) to CSMT (arrival 2:32 pm) [Slow]
4. CSMT (departure 2:45 pm) to Panvel (arrival 4:05 pm) [Slow]

Problem of unauthorised ‘surcharge’ continues:

Despite traffic police’s best efforts, several citizens complained about being overcharged for the second day today.

Maximum instances were reported in the western suburbs, where office-goers and college students had to turn to autos and taxis for their last-mile travel from railway stations. Commuters had to face long queues and then pay extra for their travel.

App-based aggregators like Uber & Ola also levied a surcharge, while private buses collected a nominal fare in areas where they were operational.

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