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MSRTC strike: Passengers face hardships, exhort govt for help

By Vikas

Thousands of long-distance passengers planning to travel to their hometowns are facing hardships due to an indefinite strike by employees of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC).

The MSRTC employees are on a strike demanding a pay hike. The employees are demanding implementation of the 7th Pay Commission and an interim hike of 25% till the recommendations are implemented. The government has agreed to an interim hike of 10% but unions are opposed to it.

The passengers haplessly waited at the bus stands in hope that the services might resume.

Close to 14,000 buses off road

Close to 14,000 buses off road

The state-run corporation termed the strike, which has hit the Diwali travel of thousands of passengers, as "illegal".

Sandeep Shinde, president of the Maharashtra State Transport Workers' Union, saidChief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Transport Minister Diwakar Raote have taken some steps to resolve the issue, but "we want a final solution this time".

(Image credit - ANI/Twitter)

Passengers wait haplessly

Passengers wait haplessly

Massive crowds languished at state transport (ST) stands across regions, with people hoping to travel to their hometowns and villages for Diwali disappointed by the timing of this protest.

Meanwhile, MSRTC workers' unions have stood firm over their stand of demanding that the 7th Pay Commission be implemented, salaries be given according to designation, and more.

(Image credit - ANI/Twitter)

Transport Minister says employees' demands unjust

"We have all sympathy with State Transport Employees but their demands for salary as per 7th Pay commission is not possible...Have offered to resolve the matter by talks. We are ready to nominate a committee to resolve issues," said Transport Minister Diwakar Raote.

A senior official of the MSRTC said the strike is "illegal" and the transport agency's administration has appealed to the union members to come back to work.

"Different courts have clarified that such strikes are not within law as transport is an essential service. We, therefore, appeal to the staffers to resume work."

[MSRTC strike illegal, demands not justified, says Transport Minister][MSRTC strike illegal, demands not justified, says Transport Minister]

MSRTC officials said Fadnavis and Raote have taken the issue seriously and ordered setting up of a committee to look into it.

More than 65 lakh passengers travel by ST buses across the state everyday. The MSRTC runs 18,000 buses, some of which go to far-flung areas not connected by rail network.

[Avoid bus travel to Maharashtra: MSRTC indefinite strike begins][Avoid bus travel to Maharashtra: MSRTC indefinite strike begins]

The transport undertaking incurs a loss of Rs 450 crore per year.

OneIndia News with PTI inputs

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