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Updated: May 4, 2010 16:30 IST

Rail drivers’ strike paralyses Mumbai

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Stranded commuters at the Churchgate station due to the agitation by motormen, in Mumbai on Monday.
Stranded commuters at the Churchgate station due to the agitation by motormen, in Mumbai on Monday.

Suburban train services in Mumbai continued to be disrupted on Tuesday on the second day of motormen’s strike even as 20 of them were dismissed for refusing to report for work.

“Ten motormen of Central and Western railway each have been dismissed as they refused to work,” railway officials said here.

The western and eastern express highway also continued to be jammed with commuters opting for road transport to reach their destinations.

Railway authorities on Tuesday said only 20 per cent suburban trains were operating as a result of the hunger strike by motormen demanding hike in pay scales and allowances.

Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil said the State government will take up the issue with the Centre, seeking its intervention to provide relief to Mumbai commuters.

The State government is also reviewing if provisions of the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) could be invoked in this case, he said.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan has called an emergency meeting to discuss the situation arising out of the motormen’s strike. Police, railway and transport officials will attend the meeting, official sources said.

Mr. Chavan had on Monday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and requested his intervention to end the strike, the sources said.

The Chief Minister also spoke to Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee and requested her to take stringent action against the striking motormen, they said.

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