Mumbai, June 8: The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSTC) workers have begun an indefinite strike across the state from Friday morning. According to news reports, the strike has already hit services in Parel, Kurla, Uran (Navi-Mumbai) and other bus depots in different parts of the state. The reason behind the immediate strike is salary issues. Workers want an increment in their salaries, say reports. The MSRTC reportedly allotted Rs 4,500 crore for the workers, however, due to differences between workers unions, the distribution of money was stalled.
MSRTC is one of the largest public transport organisations in the country, with around 18,000 buses and 1.02 lakh employees. Every day, the ST buses ferry more than 60 lakh passengers on intra-city and inter-city routes.
Meanwhile, the State transport department is facing a major financial crisis. Minister Diwakar Raote had earlier written a letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis about the poor financial condition and also asked him to provide a leeway from various taxes after prices of fuel were soaring across the nation. Majority of the state-owned public transport buses run on diesel, and due to increasing fuel price, the financial burden on the department had added to the burden further. On the first day of the strike, the bus operations in Mumbai, Konkan and western Maharashtra, where the ST buses are used frequently, were poorly affected.