Lakhs of commuters in Mumbai were affected on Tuesday by a flash strike called by the drivers and conductors of Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) to protest against the new computerised scheduling system.
Their protest has inconvenienced office-goers as well as school and college students who depend on the BEST buses for their daily commute.
According to BEST sources, only a handful of its drivers and conductors have reported to duty at the 25 depots in the city. As a result, only a few buses are plying on the roads forcing
commuters to take alternate mode of transport such as auto-rickshaw, taxis and private vehicles.
"Only eight buses are plying on roads," said AS Tamboli, public relations officer of the BEST.
Heavy rush was seen on bus stops and people were forced to walk to their destinations.
For optimum use of workforce and ensure better frequency, BEST has decided to adopt the "Canadian schedule" which is expected save Rs. 32 crore for the undertaking every year. But unions have opposed it saying that it will force staffers to work for more than 12 hours.
BEST has failed to implement the schedule thrice in the past and had decided to implement it after the industrial court's order over the issue.