Mumbai/Pune: The strike of employees of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) was called off on Saturday night after a meeting between union leaders and Transport Minister Diwakar Raote in Mumbai.
Most of the demands of unions were accepted and Raote requested them to withdraw the strike and they agreed to do so.
Over one lakh employees of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) were on strike demanding a hike in salary, causing hardships to thousands of passengers, which led to 80 per cent buses staying off the road on Friday and Saturday and causing a revenue loss of Rs 33 crore.
The Pune division faced a loss of around Rs 90 lakh due to the cancellation of 1,357 of 1,573 buses, which were supposed to ply on Friday. On Saturday, of the 1,563 only 1,428 scheduled trips were made while 135 were cancelled.
According to data provided by MSRTC, Pune division, of the 1,122 buses, only 104 could ply till 2 pm on Saturday. Officials claim that hired buses were plying regularly. Buses from other divisions such as Aurangabad, Nashik, Parbhani, Amravati and others are also plying, which have a very low
A sudden strike was started on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, a meeting was held between MSRTC officials and 24 workers’ unions in Mumbai.
According to the officials of MSRTC, “In 250 depots across the State, only 20 per cent full trips were made on Saturday. Two depots were fully operational while 151 were partially active. Ninety seven depots were not operational, which badly affected services from Pune, Kolhapur, Satara, Sangli and Solapur. Only 40 pc of buses plied in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions.
The strike forced passengers to travel by private bus operators. After a notification issued by the transport department from Mumbai, private bus operators have started ferrying passengers. Passengers were seen queuing up at private bus operators in Swargate, Shivajinagar and Pune station.
Rajendra Ingale (48), who cancelled his ST bus tickets for going with the family to Latur after spending a vacation in Pune, told Sakal Times, “It was very confusing. I thought if I choose to travel by a private bus, they will charge extra but this time they are not charging too much. The fare is regular and they are charging only Rs 100 extra.”quote