Essential civic services were affected on Tuesday after the Sharad Rao-led Municipal Mazdoor Union (MMU) called a strike on Monday night to demand that the sixth pay commission be implemented with immediate effect.
The strike was however called off on Tuesday evening after chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar reached a truce with the union in a meeting held on Tuesday afternoon.
On Tuesday, water supply, garbage collection and health services were badly affected when more than 70% of the BMC's conservancy workers did not report to work.
Commenting on the skimpy civic services, Rao said, "It was a successful strike. We don't want the city to suffer but we were left no option."
More than 70% of the city's garbage was not picked up from collection points. The city generates 6,500 metric tonnes of waste daily. In order to mitigate the situation, the BMC appointed contract labourers and NGO staff to collect garbage.
Municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar said, "Around 250 garbage collection trucks collected more than 2,000 metric tonnes of garbage."
"Mobs damaged dumper trucks in Parel and Andheri and police complaints were filed against perpetrators," said an assistant municipal commissioner, requesting anonymity.
At civic-run hospitals, as 20,000 nurses, ward boys and sweepers joined the strike on Tuesday, hospitals cancelled all scheduled surgeries. Dilshad Bano, 40, visited KEM Hospital with her son Shadab, 2, to get an X-ray done. She returned home unsuccessful as technicians joined the strike. "My son's legs are twisted, so I came from Bhiwandi to get an X-ray done," she said.
The BMC received complaints of poor or no water supply from areas such as Malad, Goregaon, Ghatkopar and Girgaum. Octroi collection was also hit as most inspectors participated in the strike. Fire stations and crematoriums saw all staff reporting to work and services were not hampered.