Staff of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) in Mumbai, Panvel and Uran called off their strike on Saturday. They had been protesting since Friday against the death of their colleague, who succumbed to a heart attack after an altercation with an autorickshaw driver in Bhiwandi on Thursday.
The breakthrough was achieved by state transport minister Diwakar Raote who visited the agitating staff, condoled driver’s death and appealed protestors to resume work at all 250 depots.
The staff had demanded action against suspects, a quick settlement of the insurance claim and a job to his nearest relative.
The strike had affected passengers who visit Nashik and Pune on weekends.
Mumbai-Pune AC bus services, which are popular among commuters, were resumed after being shut for a few hours.
On Thursday morning, the 34-year-old driver, Prabhakar Gaikwad, fought with an autorickshaw driver. He collapsed and died while being treated at a local hospital. Following the incident, drivers and conductors of the MSRTC went on a spontaneous strike.
Apart from Mumbai and Parel bus depots of the MSRTC, a major agitation by the staff was seen at Panvel and Uran depots, which affected the state transport bus services to Mumbai and neighbouring cities such as Thane.
Owing to the agitation at two major depots, no buses, including Shivneri AC buses, could move out of the Dadar depot for Pune, leaving passengers stranded. Mumbai-Pune Shivneri services witness maximum rush on weekends.
An MSRTC source said they have resumed the Mumbai-Pune services, but there is a lot of rush because of fewer buses; hence, passengers were forced to take alternative mode of transport for journey.
Several MSRTC depots, including that of Kalyan, Thane, Nanded, Jalgaon and Bhiwandi, had witnessed the agitation in the past two days.