Mumbai, January 14: The strike by Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) bus employees has entered the seventh day. BEST employees are demanding the implementation of the merger of the BEST budget with the principal budget of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), employee service residences etc. Yesterday, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray assured of merging the budget of the transport undertaking with that of the BMC. Shiv Sena had also promised merger of the budgets during the civic poll campaign in 2017. Amid BEST Strike, Mumbai Monorail Employees Threaten Stir Over Unpaid Salaries.
"The financial condition of the BEST has deteriorated. I had given the promise of the merger of the budgets, and that will be fulfilled. A solution can be found only through the talks. Even though the BEST strike issue is in the court, I am ready to be part of the discussion if necessary," Thackeray said. Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), led by Uddhav's estranged cousin Raj Thackeray, threatened to hit the streets on Monday if the state government, BMC administration and the ruling parties failed to find a solution and end the strike.
Shiv Sena controls the BMC apart from being a partner in the BJP-led Maharashtra government. Over 32,000 employees of BEST are on strike since January 8, and 3200-odd buses in its fleet are off the roads. According to reports, Nearly 25 lakh commuters are affected due to the strike.