MNS workers stall Metro 3, Coastal Road works

Activists of the MNS, on Monday, January 14, 2019, disrupted ongoing works for the Coastal Road and Metro 3 projects to express solidarity with striking workers of BEST, the civic transport undertaking that operates one of the country’s largest fleet of buses, in Mumbai. Over 32,000 employees of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) are on strike since Tuesday, last week for various demands including pay revision, as a result of which 3200-odd buses in its fleet are off the roads in the megapolis. A group of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers briefly stopped the Coastal Road project work in Worli on Monday morning, while a similar a protest stalled the Metro-III work in the Aarey Colony near suburban Goregaon for the entire day.

Expressing regret over the incident, MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande attributed the incident to “over-enthusiasm” of some workers, and said the party is against causing any inconvenience to the common man.

Meanwhile, the ongoing impasse between BEST unions and authorities continued on the seventh day of the strike, as the talks held between union leader Shashank Rao and authorities of the state government and BEST remained inconclusive. Striking workers have been demanding the merger of the budgets of the BEST and its parent body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) as well as higher salaries among other issues. Lakhs of commuters who travel by BEST buses everyday are facing hardships due to the strike.

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