Mumbai

BEST assures transport for essential service workers

Workers’ unions had called for a ‘Stay at home’ stir

The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) on Sunday said all arrangements had been made to ensure that bus services for essential workers of the city will continue unhindered in light of the call made by several BEST workers’ unions for employees to stay at home from Monday.

BEST General Manager Surendrakumar Bagde, in a statement, said that all necessary arrangements have been made to ensure that bus services ferrying doctors, nurses police and other essential services remain unaffected.

The BEST Sanyukt Kamgaar Kruti Samiti (BSKKS), an umbrella body of BEST workers’ unions, has said that workers would observe a “lockdown” from Monday and stay at home until the administration improves their safety protocols for drivers and conductors.

1,200 ST buses on standby

Sources said 1,200 buses of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) are on standby if the need arises. After the suspension of suburban railway services on March 23, BEST buses have been the lifeline of the city ferrying all staff working in essential sectors such as hospitals, the police, and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation .

Two more BEST workers, who had tested positive, died over the weekend, bringing the total fatalities to eight. In all 120 BEST workers have tested positive and 50 of these have been discharged. However, these figures have been contested by the unions who say as many as 15 employees have died. Senior BEST officials said that in many cases, the death could have been due to causes other than COVID-19 and test results were awaited to confirm the same. “Most of the positive cases are coming from workers living in containment zones. There is also an issue of workers no intimating us if they are living in a containment zone or in some cases if they have fallen ill,” an official said.

“The administration has provided employees with masks and sanitisers and is adhering to safety protocols. All organisations working in the frontline are having such problems. We have requested workers to not go on such a strike, especially at a time like this,” BEST committee chairman Anil Patankar

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 9:38:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/best-assures-transport-for-essential-service-workers/article31610933.ece

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